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Trustee Act (Northern Ireland) 2001

Section 36: Provisions supplementary to sections 34 and 35

Supplementary provisions for the effective operation of these powers of direction are contained in section 36. The beneficiaries may act separately or with other trustees in directing the appointment or retirement of a trustee. The direction may take the form of a single, joint direction by all the beneficiaries. Alternatively, subject to section 36(2), a direction may be given by each beneficiary individually or jointly with some of the others. A direction may be withdrawn by writing up until the time it has been complied with, but if any beneficiary withdraws, then the necessary unanimity is lost and the direction falls. If there is more than one direction, then they must all specify the same person or persons for appointment or retirement (section 36(2)).

It is provided in section 36(3) that subsection (7) of section 35 of the Trustee Act (Northern Ireland) 1958 applies to a trustee appointed under these powers as if he were appointed under that section. The effect of subsection (7) is that newly-appointed trustees are to have the same powers, authorities and discretions and may act in all respects as if they had been originally appointed by the instrument creating the trust. Similarly, trustees appointed under these new provisions are to be treated in the same way.

As far as applicability of the new powers is concerned, they apply to existing trusts as well as trusts to be set up in the future, unless they are excluded by expression of contrary intention. To further that policy, there is an opportunity given by section 36(5) for persons who have already created trusts to exclude the new powers of direction by executing a deed to that effect. Where the trust was created by one person and he is of full capacity, he may execute the necessary deed himself. In a case where the trust was created by a number of persons, then those still alive and of full capacity may execute the requisite deed to exclude the new powers of direction. A deed executed for the purpose of excluding the new powers is irrevocable. The deed does not affect anything done before its execution to comply with a direction given by beneficiaries, but if a direction has not yet been complied with, then it shall cease to have effect once the deed is executed. The result is that a settlor may stop or prevent a direction becoming effective but may not affect an appointment or retirement which has already become effective.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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