Our experienced trust dispute solicitors have worked on many cases with clients to resolve issues with trusts, helping both the trustee and beneficiary.

 

Unfortunately, the relationship between the Trustee(s) and the beneficiaries can sometimes break down. This can often lead to further issues and can sometimes impact the running of the Trust.

Resolving such issues requires specialist help, our team have many years of case experience dealing with these kinds of matters.

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What is a trust?

The use of a Trust can be a great way to deal with assets and to make provision for future generations. However, Trusts can be complicated and often require expert advice.

A Trust is a legal document in which one party, known as a settlor, gives another party, the trustee, the right to hold title to their property or assets for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary.

Trusts are most commonly established to provide legal protection for the settlor’s assets and to make sure those assets are distributed according to the wishes of the settlor. The benefits of holding assets in a trust can be as follows:-

  • Having instructions set out in a trust can be time saving
  • Having a clear letter of wishes to accompany the Trust can help simplification of administration process
  • Certain trusts can assist in alleviating issues with and mitigating inheritance tax

The 'why' and 'what' when it comes to trusts

 

Unfortunately, disputes may arise from time to time. In our experience, some of the most common reasons for why a Trust Dispute may arise are set out below:

 

  1. There may be a lack of information in relation to the Trust payments and/or assets made available to the beneficiaries of the Trust;
  2. Beneficiaries may not be receiving provision from the Trust, or the provision may be different to what they were expecting;
  3. The relationship between the Trustee(s) and the beneficiaries has broken down completely; and
  4. The Trustee(s) are not acting in accordance with their legal duties.

 

Where lack of information may be a problem, a good starting point is for the beneficiaries to write to the Trustee(s) requesting specific information relating to the Trust. Whilst beneficiaries are entitled to certain information about the Trust, they are not entitled to all information. If you are struggling to obtain information which you believe your are entitled to, it would be a good idea to speak with a solicitor.

 

In some cases, beneficiaries may find that they are not receiving any provision from the Trust, or the provision they have received may be different to what they were expecting. The provision that may be due is entirely dependent on the type of Trust, the powers of the Trustee(s) and the Trust documents. You may wish to instruct a solicitor to review the Trust documents for you to try and work out what provision may be made for you.

 

Unfortunately, the relationship between the Trustee(s) and the beneficiaries can sometimes break down. This can often lead to further issues and can sometimes impact the running of the Trust. In some cases it may be necessary for a Trustee to step down from their role and/or an Independent Trustee be appointed by the Court. If this is something that you are experiencing, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Trustees have a number of legal duties which determine how they should act whilst running the Trusts. Sometimes, Trustees may breach their duties. This may be a simple error, which may be rectified. However, in extreme cases a Trustee’s breach of their duties may result in them being forced to step down from their role. If you have any concerns in relation to how a Trustee may be acting, then please do contact us to discuss the same.

 

If you have any concerns about how a Trust is being run, or you wish to obtain further information, please do not hesitate to contact our team and we will be happy to assist.

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