*T v P and others

Variation of trusts – Jurisdiction. On its true construction, s 1(3) of the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 applied to a person where the impairment etc was the single or only reason for the lack of capacity to consent. Accordingly, in the case of a beneficiary who was under 18, the question as to whether the proposed variation was for his benefit would always be a matter for the High Court. That would be the position even if that person was nearly 18 and lacked capacity in relation to other matters within s 2(1) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Applying that construction, the Chancery Division ruled that a beneficiary of a trust (X), who was an autistic minor, was not able to assent to the variation of the trust by reason of being a minor, not because of an impairment or disturbance of mind or brain. Accordingly, the court held that s 1(3) did not require it to refer to the Court of Protection the question as to whether the proposed variation was for the benefit of X.

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