Ironing out the Kinks: The Seventh Amendment to Jersey’s Trust Law

The latest round of amendments to the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984 was registered by the Royal Court of Jersey on 1 June, and will come into force seven days after that. The Trusts (Amendment No. 7) (Jersey) Law 2018, as it is now formally titled, will therefore be fully operational later this week on 8 June.

The purpose of this note is to provide a relatively succinct explanation of the main changes. In fact, it may be enough for some simply to note that there is nothing in the new legislation that should cause anyone to start frantically combing through their existing trusts to fix fresh problems. Quite the opposite in fact. The purpose of the seventh amendment is to provide some nips and tucks to parts of the existing law that have caused trustees and beneficiaries a few difficulties, or at least uncertainties, in the past. On the assumption that readers may lose interest (or at least, get interrupted) between now and the end of this note, here are the highlights in our suggested descending order of importance.

Trustee security
The ability to seek protection prior to handing over trust assets is of understandable importance to trustees. A new Article 43A of the 1984 law bulks up the existing provisions to match current industry practice, as endorsed by STEP.

In particular, the 1984 law, in conferring a right to reasonable security for liabilities prior to transferring trust property, will now clearly apply both to changes of trusteeship and distributions to beneficiaries. And where such security takes the form of an indemnity (as it typically does), that indemnity may be provided not only to the trustee but also to related parties such as the officers and employees of the trustee and their respective successors, heirs, personal representatives and estates.


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