Dec 1, 2014

Termination of Discretionary Trusts

Re Chodak, 1975 CanLII 659 (ON SC)

Facts: discretionary trust, multiple beneficiaries. Don’t know who beneficiaries will be in any given year because trustee has discretion to choose. Group of beneficiaries were children of testator’s siblings. Beneficiaries seek to collapse the trust. To collapse the trust, the beneficiaries interests need to have vested.

Issue: did the discretionary trust hinder the vesting of the interest for the beneficiaries? Or was vesting immediate?

Held: Interest vested. Trustees could accede to wishes of beneficiaries by all acting together. Even in a discretionary trust, beneficiaries can combine to collapse the trust.

Ratio: all sui juris beneficiaries can get together and collapse a discretionary trust.