chapter  15
20 Pages

Variation of trusts

ByMohamed Ramjohn

Trustees are required to administer the trust in accordance with its terms. They have a primary duty to obey the instructions as detailed by the settlor or implied by law. Any deviation from the terms of the trust is a breach making them personally liable, irrespective of how well intentioned the trustees may have been. Where the beneficiaries are of full age and of sound mind and are absolutely entitled to the trust property, they may deal with the equitable interest in any way they wish. They may sell, exchange or gift away their interest. The court has an inherent jurisdiction to depart from the terms of a trust in the case of an 'emergency', i.e. an occasion when no provision was made in the trust instrument and the event could not have been foreseen by the settlor. The court may approve an arrangement if its effect would be to prevent real or potential conflict within a family.