precatory words

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Words that accompany a gift of property in a document, hoping, desiring, trusting, or requesting that the donee will dispose of the property in a particular way. It is often difficult to decide whether there is sufficient certainty of intention to create a trust (precatory trust) or whether the property is an absolute gift to the recipient. The courts have tended to construe gifts so as not to create a trust, unless there is no doubt that a trust was intended (Lambe v Eames (1871) 6 Ch App 597; Re Adams & Kensington Vestry (1884) 27 ChD 394). However, some more recent cases have indicated a reversal of this trend, especially where the settlor has not taken legal advice (Comiskey v Bowring-Hanbury [1905] AC 84; Paul v Constance [1977] 1 WLR 1338 (CA); Rowe v Prance [1999] 2 FLR 787 (Ch).

Subjects: Law.

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