New estate cases have been added to the By Lawyers 101 Succession Answers (VIC) reference manual.
The new cases under the Estates section of the publication relate to:
Vesting of interest in beneficiaries – Rule in Saunders v Vautier
A beneficiary can apply to the court to have their interest vest earlier than provided for in the will. The rule in Saunders v Vautier possibly provides such a mechanism.
The High Court set out the modern formulation of the rule in Saunders v Vautier in CPT Custodian Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue  HCA 53 at :
Under the rule in Saunders v Vautier, an adult beneficiary (or a number of adult beneficiaries acting together) who has (or between them have) an absolute, vested and indefeasible interest in the capital and income of property may at any time require the transfer of the property to him (or them) and may terminate any accumulation.
If the beneficiaries are ascertained, have capacity and all consent then ‘they may put an end to the trust by directing the trustee to transfer the interest in the estate to themselves, notwithstanding any direction to the contrary in the trust instrument’: Krstic v State Trustees Ltd  VSC 344 at .
For a case where the rule was not upheld due to the beneficial interest being classed as contingent, see Arnott v Kiss  NSWSC 1385. This case also suggests that a gift over clause may defeat application of the rule.
Accordingly, whether there is any reason for the executor to resist the application would depend upon there being any terms of the will that might support such a position. If the executor is in any doubt then the trustee can and should seek judicial advice.
The addition of these new estate cases to 101 Succession Answers (VIC) is part of our continuing commitment to enhancing our content and helping our subscribers enjoy practice more.