Technical Corner: Trust Reform Proposals

Technical Corner: Trust Reform Proposals

Our ‘Technical Corner’ brings you information that will help you to continue to grow and develop in your career.

This month’s technical corner article comes from Emily Deane TEP, STEP Technical Counsel.

Emily Deane

If you have any questions for our panel of experts, please submit them using the contact form below.

We will publish the questions and answers where appropriate to continue to help our Wills and Probate community.


Many countries have updated their laws and have been creative in maintaining a healthy trust market, whilst others have implemented new trust and trust-like structures to meet demand in an increasingly competitive and expanding industry. 

The Law Commission of England & Wales announced its plans to review English trust law earlier this year, which hasn’t been reformed since 1925, under its 14th Programme of Law Reform. STEP hosted a webinar with the Commission to showcase its proposals, and had over 1000 delegates from across 57 jurisdictions, clearly indicating the widespread enthusiasm for development in this area.

The Commission has confirmed that the review will investigate current problems with English trust law, with a view to modernising and updating it in line with international standards. It will also explore the current limitations with trust law and examine how it could be updated to facilitate more competitive trust services in an expanding global market.

In addition to E&W, the Scottish Law Commission has submitted a draft bill for potential reform, the Trusts (Scotland) Bill, to the Scottish Parliament this year. The Scottish Commission states that there is an overwhelming need for modernisation and that current legislation has been heavily amended, making it convoluted and difficult to use, and much of the content is now largely obsolete.

Both Law Commissions say it is essential to update the trust legislation in order to uphold competitive economies and maintain their status as international financial centres.

In response to these exciting developments STEP is hosting a Thought Leadership webinar on 24 August which will focus on the reform proposals that are currently being considered to update and modernise trust law.

The international panel will discuss some of the modern and efficient trust legislation that is used elsewhere in the world which could positively influence this expanding area of reform in an increasingly competitive global market.

There will also be analyse of trust and trust-like structures that are available in other jurisdictions and whether similar structures should be encouraged and implemented in less modern jurisdictions.

The panel will include esteemed members from the USA, UK, Lichtenstein and a Member of the Judicial Council of Scotland. STEP members and non-members are welcome to join our free webinar on 24 August at 4.30pm (BST) entitled Webinar: Global Trust Legislation & Reform: Modernising trusts for the competitive international market.

Technical Corner - Submit a question

  • Write your question to the expert here.
  • Please provide your contact details.
  • Please provide your email address so we can contact you with the answer.

TWP Main Admin