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Flexible friend

Paul Ridout reviews the Trusts (Capital and Income) Act 2013, which will offer endowed charities cost-effective investments

26 March 2013

Trusts have been an important tool in English law for several centuries and continue to ?perform useful functions today. Typically, they enable money to be set aside ?and invested by trustees to deliver benefits to others.

This will often be done to give some beneficiaries a right to receive the income generated and to give other beneficiaries a right to the capital in due course. Where there are different interests in succession like this, the law imposes on the trustees a duty to distinguish between capital and income. Therefore gains in the value of the original settlement are added to it for the benefit of future beneficiaries and income is made fully available to the current beneficiaries.

For private trusts, a number of very specific rules have been developed by the courts and, in some instances, by parliament to guide trustees and protect the often competing interests of income and capital benefici...

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