Thellusson act

Thellusson act in United Kingdom

Thellusson act in the Business Encyclopaedia and Legal Adviser

Based on the Business Encyclopaedia and Legal Adviser , by W.S.M. Knight, Barrister –at – Law.

In 1797, Peter Thellusson died in London, leaving landed estate worth about 4000 sterling a year, and personal property to the amount of 600,000 sterling. By his will he created a trust that the income of this large property should be saved, invested, and accumulated during the lives of his sons, grandsons, and their issue until the death of the last survivor; and after this event the property with the accumulation will go to the lineal descendants of his sons in tail male. After long litigation the legality of the trusts for accumulation was upheld. There were nine lives in being when Thellusson died, the enjoyment of the property being consequently postponed until after their deaths. But shortly after this decision an Act was passed known as ” Thellusson’s Act,” which put an end to such trusts in the future.

By this Act no person, except to make provision for debts, or in, certain cases, for children’s portions, can create a valid trust of property whereby the income therefore, either wholly or partially, may be accumulated for any longer term than (a) the life of the settlor, or (b) the term of twenty-one years from the settlor’s death, or (c) during the minority of any person living at the time of the settlor’s death, or (d) during the minority of any person who would for the time being, if of full age, be entitled under the trusts of the settlement to the income directed to be accumulated.

But an accumulation is good if it can be put an end to at any moment. It must be noted that accumulation will be permitted for only one of the periods allowed by the Act. Again, though accumulation be directed, or payment deferred, a legatee, if absolutely entitled, may require payment as soon as he can give a discharge; and this is also so in cases where the legatee is a charity. Since the Thellusson Act, it has been forbidden to settle or dispose of any property, so as to accumulate the income “for the purchase of land only,” for any longer period than during the minority of a person, who, if of full age, would be entitled to receive the income. This is by the Accumulations Act, 1892. In 1848, the Thellusson Act was extended to heritable property in Scotland. See Accumulation in the English Law.


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