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  • Overview

    Experienced trust dispute lawyers

    A trust is a legal arrangement whereby one or more people (trustees) hold assets for the benefit of other people (beneficiaries). Those assets are often property or other investments.

    A trust is created by the settlor who transfers his or her own assets to the trustees, specifying how and for whom those assets can be used and what powers the trustees have. A trust can be created during the settlor’s lifetime, but can also be set up in his/her Will (in which case the “settlor” is known as the “testator”).

    There are many different types of trust, e.g. bare trusts, interest in possession trusts, discretionary trusts, accumulation trusts, settlor-interested trusts and non-resident trusts.

    The law can also deem that a trust exists, even where no trust document exists. For example, a constructive trust arises where someone buys property and holds that property in his/her sole name, but for someone else (e.g. someone who has contributed in some way). 

    Disputes in relation to trusts can arise for a number of reasons, including:      

    • The trust documents being vague, unclear about trustees’ powers or containing mistakes;
    • Negligent legal or tax advice when the trust was set up;
    • The trust document not reflecting the wishes of the settlor;  
    • A co-trustee acting outside of his or her powers, being dilatory, refusing to disclose financial information or blocking decisions;
    • A trustee considering he or she can no longer work with a co-trustee, or realising that  a co-trustee is mentally unfit to continue as a trustee such that the co-trustee needs to be removed;
    • Disagreement between trustees as to how a trust is to be managed or as to the relative interests of a life tenant and the remaindermen; 
    • A co-trustee favouring certain beneficiaries, e.g. where he or she is also a beneficiary;
    • A trustee being worried about claims by beneficiaries if he or she exercises his or her discretion in a particular way;
    • A trustee being worried about personal exposure to costs arising from litigation which involves the trust.


    Decisions on whether trustees should get involved in disputes and how they should pursue them carry potentially serious personal cost consequences for trustees.  Our team has experience in dealing with disputes in all of the above listed circumstances and many more. 

    We also work closely with our specialist Wills, Probate, Trusts and Tax Planning team, and advise on preventative measures that can be taken by clients to try to avoid trust disputes.

       

  • Latest Updates

    Trust types – a key features guide

    FAQ: Tax Planning

    Q. We want to help our 20 year old daughter buy her first flat, but we’re worried about putting such a valuable asset directly in her name. Is there anything we can do to protect the property until she’s a bit older?

  • Insights

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Clearly explained what was being done at every stage

Client

Efficient, effective, friendly and helpful.

Client

The advice and support from the initial phone call through to the completion of the document was clear, thorough and very efficient. I felt I received a personal service tailored to my needs

Client

Thank you for providing such clear advice and executing this in such a painless and professional way.  I don’t think I can recall the last time someone did some professional work for me where there were no typos or mistakes, or where I didn’t have to chase and do part of the work myself  

Client

The communication, attitude and professionalism was exceptional from James. He was very helpful and understood exactly why we needed legal assistance. He spent a lot of time getting to know us and advising us. We got the best outcome possible and he was very helpful.  

Client
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