Report No. 82
5.4. Case law on Friendly Societies Act in England.-
This legislation has now a history of more than a century. Under the Friendly Societies Act, 1876 (as amended by the Act of 1884), a member of a society could nominate any person to any person to receive a sum not exceeding £ 100, out of the money payable at his death. It has been held1 that such a nomination cannot be revoked by Will, but can be revoked only in the manner laid down in the Act, and that the sum made payable is not part of the residuary estate of the deceased. And in a case2 reported in 1901, when the nominee died before the nominator and his (nominee's) representative claimed the money, the decision of Kekewich, J., is:
"I cannot see why the estate of a nominee who dies before the nominator should be deprived of the benefit intended to be conferred, even although his death may be unknown to the nominator I do not see anything in the writing of the rule of prevent the policy money being due to the legal representative of the nominee."
The observations of A.L. Smith, L.J. in an earlier English case,3 may also be compared-
"I may in the first place remark that where there has been a nomination, as in the present case, until that nomination has been revoked, I think that the nominee and not the nominator is the person beneficially interested4 in the money."5
1. Bennat v. Slater, (1890) 1 KB 45.
2. Redman Norton (in re:) v. Redman, (1901) 2 Ch 171.
3. Bennat v. Slater, (1899) 1 QB 451.
4. Note the words "beneficially interested."
5. Bennat v. Slater, (1899) 1 QB 451, referred to in Denish Becon's Staff Pension Fund (in re:), (1971) 1 All ER 486 (491).