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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Interests in possession: interests of minors: Trustee Act 1925

The Trustee Act 1925, and the Trustee (Northern Ireland) Act 1958, have effect in Englandand Wales, and Northern Ireland, respectively. The particular provisions described belowtake effect unless there is a ‘contrary indication’ in the deed or will.

Where in England and Wales and Northern Ireland a minor has an interest in capital orincome (or both) under a will or trust deed (or, in England and Wales only, under astatutory trust of an intestate’s estate) and the interest is contingent on the happeningof some event, for example, the attainment of a specified age or marriage, he or shenormally during minority does not have an interest in possession, because the interest issubject to the discretion of the trustees. See Trustee Act 1925 section 31(1) and TrusteeAct (Northern Ireland) section 32(1).

If the minor does not become absolutely entitled to the capital on attaining the age ofmajority, for example, because the specified age is twenty-five, he or she is entitledunder the Trustee Acts, unless the deed or will provides to the contrary, to receive theincome until becoming absolutely entitled to the capital. Although this is an interest inpossession, it is not a life interest because it is not primarily defined by reference toa life.