Stephen Alexander

Stephen Alexander

Partner | Jersey

Katie Hooper

Katie Hooper

Counsel | Jersey

Obtaining a blessing from the Court: the difficulty in judging reasonability...

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11 November 2021

The narrow scope of the court's jurisdiction when being asked to bless momentous decisions of trustees means that the occasions where the courts refuse such blessings are usually quite limited.

The recent judgment of the Royal Court of Jersey in Re the V, W, X and Y Trusts [2021] JRC 208 provides an important example of such a refusal of a blessing application. The case is of particular interest because, the Royal Court declined to bless a trustee decision which seems, on the face of the Court's judgment, to have been carefully considered and supported by the currently ascertained beneficiaries of the trusts in question and by legal advice, on the basis that the Court was left sufficiently uncomfortable with the decision to be in doubt as to its propriety.

This judgment raises interesting questions as to how to walk the reasonability line as a trustee and demonstrates the exacting, sometimes inquisitorial, process adopted by the supervisory court in Jersey to ensure that trustees do strike the appropriate balance.

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