Although the Isle of Man is an entirely separate jurisdiction from England and Wales, it has its own broadly similar equitable, common law and statutory provisions so that English court decisions are usually regarded as strongly persuasive. In a recent case before the Isle of Man High Court, the deemster (ie, High Court judge) followed the principle developed in the English case of Re: Hastings-Bass deceased  Ch 25 in declaring void a deed of appointment made by trustees.
The case involved a discretionary settlement which included power for the trustees to add beneficiaries subject to them having been first nominated for this purpose by the settlor. The trustees executed a deed of appointment which added beneficiaries not nominated by the settlor and excluded the principal beneficiary (the settlor). In executing the deed of appointment, the trustees incorrectly believed that the settlor had been fully advised of the implications of the deed of appointment and approved its wording.
The settlor was content with the addition of beneficiaries, but this part of the appointment would have failed in the absence of a nomination by him, thereby rendering the deed of appointment at least partially void. Of greater significance was the settlor’s ignorance of his own removal as a beneficiary: the terms of the settlement made him the principal beneficiary during his lifetime and a situation had now arisen where the trustees were being asked to consider a substantial distribution to him on the basis that he was still a beneficiary.
Read the full article here: Manx High Court Applies Hastings Bass Principle