Bennet v Bennet (1879) 10 Ch. D. 474

Equity – Presumption of Advancement – Gift – Bankruptcy – Resulting Trust – Obligation             

Facts

This case concerned a transaction between a mother and her son and the presumption of advancement in equity. Mother, Ann Bennet, wanted to help her son who was in some financial difficulty. Consequently, she gave Philip Bennet £300 in the way of a loan. Unfortunately, the son still went bankrupt and could not pay his debts. The trustee in bankruptcy tried to claim what was left of his money.

Issues

The mother argued that there could not be a presumption of advancement, as she had only loaned her son the money and this sum of £300 should be returned to her. The issue in this case was whether there was a presumption of advancement between the mother and son or if the money was held on a resulting trust for the mother.

Held

The court held that based on the evidence presented in this case there was no presumption of advancement between Ann Bennet and Philip Bennet. The money she had given his son was a loan to help him deal with his financial troubles. In addition, the courts stated that in equity, there was no presumption of advancement between mother and her child, as there was no moral obligation for a mother to provide for her child. This could only be a father or a male figure. Thus, the court upheld Ann Bennet’s claim and the £300 sum was held on a resulting trust for the mother.