Clause 69 - Protection of trustees and personal representatives

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 6 December 2001.

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Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Parliamentary Secretary (Lord Chancellor's Department) 11:00, 6 December 2001

I am extremely grateful to the hon. Gentleman. That was almost what I was about to say. Any money that was incorrectly distributed would have to be handed back. The clause protects trustees who may distribute the estate in ignorance, although it would be an entirely different matter if they participated in an attempt to commit fraud. The clause is aimed at trustees who distribute money without realising that the adoption order has changed.

The terms of any trustee document would prevail in terms of the inheritance. If a document stated that that the beneficiaries should be a specific number of children—perhaps named children—and left out the adopted children, that would be a different matter.