Allhusen v Whittell

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Allhusen v Whittell
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Court Chancery Division
Decided 28 June 1867
Citation(s) (1867) LR 4 Eq 295
[1861-1873] All ER 149
36 LJ Ch 929
16 LT 695
Court membership
Judge(s) sitting Page Wood VC
Trusts, life tenant, remainderman

Allhusen v Whitell (1867) LR 4 Eq 295 is an English trusts law case which lays down a rule of equity which requires the trustee of a trust to strike a fair balance between the beneficiaries who are tenants for life and those who are remaindermen in respect of payment of the debts of an estate. The life tenant under a will is entitled to income earned after the testator's death, but it often takes some time to ascertain and settle all of those debts. In the meantime the assets of the estate are earning income for tenant for life, whereas the life tenant should only receive income from the estate net of the debts; the rule in Allhusen v White requires the life tenant to make a contribution.



Page-Wood VC.

The judgment of the Court was given by the Vice Chancellor, Sir William Page Wood.

The rule[edit]

The rule was summarised by Romer LJ in Corbett v Commissioners of Inland Revenue [1938] 1 KB 567 as follows:

The rule may be excluded by an expression of contrary intent, or where its application would not be appropriate.[2]

The rule has been described as "complex, fiddlesome and resulting in a disproportionate amount of work and expense"[3] and the rule is often either excluded under a well drafted will, or simply ignored.

The Law Commission of England & Wales has consulted on the rule's abolition.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As to which, see Re Wills [1915] 1 Ch 769 and Re Oldham (1927) 71 SJ 491
  2. ^ Re McEuen [1913] 2 Ch 704; Re Derby Ch 905
  3. ^ 23rd Report of the Law Commission of England & Wales, at para 3.31