Re Hay’s Settlement Trusts [1982] 1 WLR 202

Key point

  • Affirmed Re Manisty – a power cannot be void for administrative unworkability


  • In a trust deed trustees were directed to hold trust funds for any persons (with the exception of the settlor, her husband and Ts) or purposes they appoint with 21 years of settlement
  • Trustees executed the deed of appointment, transferring the funds to another discretionary trust with themselves as the trustees, with the power to appoint beneficiaries of both the fund and income among any person in the world
  • Nieces and nephews sought to claim the money

Held (High Court)

  • The power was valid, the delegation was invalid

Sir Robert Megarry V-C

  • An ‘intermediate’ or ‘hybrid’ power of appointment vested in a trustee to appoint to anyone in the world except specified persons was not, despite the fiduciary duties of the trustees, rendered invalid merely by the width of the power
  • Nothing in the nature of an intermediate power of appointment prevented trustees from discharging those duties.
  • Trustees have no power to delegate under a power of appointment and is thus invalid – this offended the principle that that unless authorised to do so a trustee could not delegate his powers