Section 22 proposes the insertion of section 61A to the original Act. Section 61A(4) states:
The trustees of any trust to which this section applies may, by deed poll, amend the terms of the said trust so as to extend the duration of the trust beyond the period or after the date therein originally stated and notwithstanding any provision of the said trust to the contrary including any requirement for the consent of any party to such amendment.
This is a retrospective amendment of a trust. It is giving the power to the trustees to change the trust. In what circumstances may this apply? There could be old trusts — perhaps the Minister could provide some examples — where all the members and beneficiaries of the trust have died. In such circumstances there could be, for example, £1 million left in the fund. What happens to this money? What do the trustees do with it?
The proposed section 61A(4) states:
The trustees of any trust to which this section applies may, by deed poll, amend the terms of the said trust so as to extend the duration of the trust . . . notwithstanding . . . any requirement for the consent of any party to such amendment.
What are the practical effects of what the Minister is proposing to do? Can it have an influence on the funds, resources or assets that may be held in old trusts? The amendment states:
The persons (if any) having the power to amend a trust to which this section applies may amend the said trust so as to dispense with any limitations on the duration of the said trust the purpose of which is to ensure compliance with the rules or provisions referred to in subsection (1), notwithstanding any provision of the said trust to the contrary.
This section deals with the rules against perpetuities. It deals with the principal Act being amended by inserting after section 61 section 61A, of which this is a subpart. The proposes section 61A(1) states:
The rules of law and equity relating to perpetuities, inalienability and accumulations and the provisions of the Accumulations Act, 1892, shall not apply and shall be deemed never to have applied to any trust to which this section applies.
It may be necessary to clarify whether there should be some saver in this regard. Perhaps the Minister will address this? What will the effect of this be on old trusts and old trusts which have assets, whether they be cash assets, investments or land? Perhaps the Minister might tell us something about it.