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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Conventional but bare trusts: several beneficiaries

If there are several beneficiaries the position is rather more complicated. For instance, if one beneficiary is entitled to half the income and half the capital, and there is no possibility of either interest being taken away, then provided

  • the trust assets are divisible, see CG37510+, and
  • the beneficiary is not a minor,he or she can call upon the trustees to hand over half the property.

If there are several beneficiaries who are entitled to a specific share of the income and the same share of the capital, they may together be jointly absolutely entitled to the property. There is a helpful discussion of the principles involved in Stephenson v Barclays Bank Trust Co, 50TC374.

If on the other hand there are beneficiaries with differing interests, then although taken together they have all the interests under the settlement, they are not absolutely entitled as against the trustee unless they specifically take action to bring the settlement to an end.