• In the case of Re Dean 1889 41 CH.D 552 it was found that a trust for the maintenance of horses and hounds so long as they shall live is not a perpetuity.

Facts of the Case

  • A testator devised his freehold estates, subject to and charged with an annuity of £750 thereinafter mentioned to his trustees, and to a term of fifty years thereinafter granted to them, to the use of C for life, with remained to the use of his first and other sons successively in tail male.  
  • He gave his trustees his eight horses, ponies, and his hounds.
  • He charged his freehold estates thereinbefore devised with the payment to his trustees for a term of fifty years commencing from his death, if any of the said horses and hounds should so long live, of an annual sum of £750.
  • He declared that his trustees should apply the said annual sum in the maintenance of the horses and hounds for the time being living and in his maintaining the stables, kennels and buildings inhabited by the said animals in such condition of repair as his trustees might deem fit.
  • This condition should not imply any obligation on his trustees to leave the said stables, kennels, and buildings in a state of repair at the determination of the term. He declared that his trustees should not be bound to render any account of the application or expenditure of the sum of £750 and any part thereof remaining unapplied should be death with by them at their sole discretion.
  • In consideration of the maintenance of his horses, ponies and hounds being a charge upon his said estate aforesaid, he gave all personal estate not otherwise disposed of to C absolutely.  

Issues in Re Dean 1889 41 CH.D 552

  • The main issue in this case is whether the trust would survive

Held by High Court (Chancery Division)

  • Held that the £750 payment was not given to the trustees beneficially, but that a trust was created for the maintenance of the animals and that such a trust was valid, although it was not a charity, and its execution could not be enforced by anyone.

North J

  • The surplus of the £750 not employed in the maintenance of the animals belonged either to the devisee of the freehold estates or to the testator’s heir-at-law.
  • In my opinion, upon this will, especially having regard to the last clause, it is clear that the testator is only making a provision for the maintenance of the animals, and that he does not intend to confer any benefit on the trustees.  I must, therefore, declare that the trustees do not take the surplus beneficially, but, upon the question whether the surplus belongs to the heir-at-law or to the devisee of the real estate, by reason of its not being raisable out of the estate, I say nothing in the absence of the heir-at-law.” P.563