Clause 69 - Protection of trustees and personal representatives

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 11:15 am ar 6 Rhagfyr 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham Ceidwadwyr, North West Norfolk 11:15, 6 Rhagfyr 2001

I understand that the clause is intended to cover every eventuality, but surely a trustee or personal representative would know that a potential beneficiary had been adopted. Trustees have wide-ranging fiduciary duties. I should declare an interest, as I am one of several trustees of a trust with four or five beneficiaries. It is our job to ensure that the professional people investing in the funds and the solicitors running the trusts do so to a high standard. We are unpaid and act as trustees because we have respect for and like the family in question. It would be extraordinary beyond belief if I did not know all the circumstances affecting beneficiaries as part of my due diligence as a trustee. The clause surprises me.

The clause may indeed cover every eventuality, as the Parliamentary Secretary says, but are there any other circumstances in which trustees or personal representatives would not be under such a duty? As part of trustees' due diligence requirement, it is their duty to be aware of such eventualities. In what circumstances does she imagine that trustees or personal representatives would not know about those unforeseen factors?

Finally, will the Parliamentary Secretary also tell us whether ''follow the property'', in subsection (3), is another legalistic definition of tracing, mentioned by the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Mr. Llwyd)?