Guidance on equity/trust problem question.

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RogueRedeemer
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So the question is regarding a trust created by a testator. It says:

“For over forty years, he worked in dealing rare antiquities and over this time accumulated a valuable collection. In his free time, he worked as a volunteer at the County Animal Rescue Centre. In his will he made the following bequests:

1.) I leave the bulk of £200,000 in cash to my sister, Fiona, who shall be trustee. It is my wish that Fiona distributes it between my two sons, Randall and Tristan, as she sees fit. In the meantime, she may pay a reasonable income from the investment or the money to all of my friends who volunteer at the County Animal Rescue Centre, but may consider those who volunteered the longest as animal rescuers as being the most deserving...”

This first point, in advising about this will, i basically have to answer if it’s valid, right? I’m getting stuck on a simple point here as to whether it’s a discretionary or fixed will, because I feel like the testator did leave the trustee an element of discretion in terms of allowing her to choose in what shares each beneficiary receives the money. However, I’m also confused as to whether it’s a fixed trust because, as I learnt it, fixed trusts are where trustees have no discretion as to who will benefit from the trust and how. They are told exactly who’ll benefit and in what way and they have to follow that, and their duties are managerial. While she hasn’t been told how much to give to each son, she certainly doesn’t have too much control over it. In terms of trust validity, I already have an idea of how I’m going to apply the three certainties here, but would I need to do it for each point (there are two other bullet points following this wherein the testator leaves a ceramic collection to Fiona as well as the residue of his estate to his partner, so would I have to apply the three certainties here also?).

Then ‘reasonable income’. How do I go about determining what’s reasonable and what’s not? And, please correct me if I’m wrong, but this is a charitable trust, right? I have my lecture notes to guide me on how the rest of my answer will be fleshed out, but I just need some help on these points. Thank you.
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Lawschoolhack
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(Original post by RogueRedeemer)
So the question is regarding a trust created by a testator. It says:

“For over forty years, he worked in dealing rare antiquities and over this time accumulated a valuable collection. In his free time, he worked as a volunteer at the County Animal Rescue Centre. In his will he made the following bequests:

1.) I leave the bulk of £200,000 in cash to my sister, Fiona, who shall be trustee. It is my wish that Fiona distributes it between my two sons, Randall and Tristan, as she sees fit. In the meantime, she may pay a reasonable income from the investment or the money to all of my friends who volunteer at the County Animal Rescue Centre, but may consider those who volunteered the longest as animal rescuers as being the most deserving...”

This first point, in advising about this will, i basically have to answer if it’s valid, right? I’m getting stuck on a simple point here as to whether it’s a discretionary or fixed will, because I feel like the testator did leave the trustee an element of discretion in terms of allowing her to choose in what shares each beneficiary receives the money. However, I’m also confused as to whether it’s a fixed trust because, as I learnt it, fixed trusts are where trustees have no discretion as to who will benefit from the trust and how. They are told exactly who’ll benefit and in what way and they have to follow that, and their duties are managerial. While she hasn’t been told how much to give to each son, she certainly doesn’t have too much control over it. In terms of trust validity, I already have an idea of how I’m going to apply the three certainties here, but would I need to do it for each point (there are two other bullet points following this wherein the testator leaves a ceramic collection to Fiona as well as the residue of his estate to his partner, so would I have to apply the three certainties here also?).

Then ‘reasonable income’. How do I go about determining what’s reasonable and what’s not? And, please correct me if I’m wrong, but this is a charitable trust, right? I have my lecture notes to guide me on how the rest of my answer will be fleshed out, but I just need some help on these points. Thank you.
See brooksxxx who has the same question.

Yes - you need to decide if each 'gift' is valid. (You don't state what is it that you have been asked to so, so I'm assuming that's the case).
You need to check that each one satisfies the 3 certainties. The trick is to identify which certainty is an issue in relation to each clause. It seems unlikely that there will be an issue with the residue from the facts you have provided.

No - it's not charitable. The intended object is not the Rescue Centre itself.

see my response to brooksxxx who has the same question..

The g/children are clearly identified so there is no issue regarding certainty of objects regarding them. But what about the subject matter?

Try using the IRAC method. I have attached my guide. It's a bit basic, but it will give you a starting point.

As mentioned above, the trick is to work out what the potential problem is and then deal with it. If you have been asked to comment on the validity of each clause then the issue of whether it's a DT or a FT (or fiduciary FP) isn't problematic if it's going to fail anyway and the objects are very clear. If, however, you have been asked to advise Fiona on her duties then the type of trust is relevant. (I suspect that this isn't the case as it's screaming a ' 3 certainties' question to me).
Good luck with it.
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