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Geoff Cook, Jersey Finance

Jersey is first with amendment to trust legislation

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The latest amendment to Jersey’s trust legislation came into force on 25 October, further strengthening Jersey’s legislative framework and providing greater clarity for the courts, practitioners and those who work with or benefit through Jersey trusts. 

The amendment incorporates into the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984 the existing law on mistake and the so called “rule in Hastings-Bass”, the latter being a legal first within the international trust’s arena.
 
The effect of the amendment is to confirm the Royal Court’s ability to provide discretionary relief in a number of trust scenarios, e.g. where a settlor has made an error in settling assets into trust, or where a trustee has erred in exercising a power, perhaps failing to take into account matters which should have been considered, or acting on incorrect professional advice.
 
Geoff Cook (pictured), chief executive of Jersey Finance, says: “Since its enactment in 1984, the Trusts (Jersey) Law has proved to be a highly effective and hugely influential piece of legislation.  This latest amendment, only the sixth in nearly 30 years, provides welcome clarity for the Royal Court and for the many settlors, trustees and beneficiaries, all over the world, who enjoy the benefits of having Jersey law as the governing law of their trusts.  The ability for the Royal Court to give discretionary relief when a beneficiary finds itself materially prejudiced by a trustee’s decision – made, perhaps, in good faith but unfortunately founded upon erroneous advice – provides a welcome alternative to the uncertainties and costs which surround ‘classic negligence litigation.
 
“With an estimated GBP0.4trn of trust assets under administration in Jersey, this amendment can only serve to further bolster Jersey’s already highly regarded international private wealth offering.”

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