Secret trusts are arguably useful as a will is public document and a testator may wish to keep a gift secret from family perhaps to avoid upset. They also offer flexibility – property can be left to trusted friend or solicitor whilst retaining ability to decide on ultimate distribution. However, there seems to be a large division in opinion between the rules for secret trusts and half secret trusts. It is helpful to consider the purpose of formalities laid down in the Wills Act and similar formalities such as contained in the Land Registration Act, which are there to avoid the possibility of ‘doubt, uncertainty and fraud’ (Hodges Reading 10 REF19). It seems clear there is no justification for this loophole in the law – if secret and half secret trusts are accepted, why not accept improperly executed wills and incomplete land transfers? Adopting a purposive approach, modern legislation is in place to protect both testators and beneficiaries from fraud – it seems illogical, unjustified and inconsistent that the secret trusts should be allowed to escape the provisions of such legislation.