Our guide helps to explain some of the potential problems that might become the subject of disputes, in relation to Trusts. You might have a disagreement with another beneficiary, are concerned that a trust is being mismanaged, or you are a trustee, and your actions are being challenged.
A trust is comparable to a treasure box in that it is a safe, locked box that holds valuable contents for the benefit of others. The person who wishes to establish the trust places money or other assets in the treasure box and locks it. Trustees hold the keys to the treasure box (usually including the person who sets up the trust). The trustees have the authority to open the treasure chest, change the contents, and distribute the contents following the terms of the trust.
What is a Trust Law Dispute?
A trust dispute is defined as any disagreement over the administration of a trust. This can include disagreements over the interpretation of a trust, problems with feuding beneficiaries, accusations of mismanagement levelled at trustees and disagreements over the worth of the trust’s assets. Regrettably, even if a trust is created with great care to avoid any disputes, it can still become the subject of litigation.
Is it possible to remove a Trustee from a Trust?
Beneficiaries who believe a trustee has acted improperly are among the most common types of trust disputes. If you want to remove a trustee from a trust, check the trust documentation to see if any other party, such as a beneficiary, has been given the authority to do so.
The Trustee Act of 1925 also allows for the replacement of a trustee under certain conditions, such as if the trustee:
Remains outside of the UK for longer than 12months
Would like to be relieved of their duties
Is a minor
The court has the authority to remove a trustee and will do so in serious cases of misconduct. They are much less likely to intervene in cases of simple hostility between trustee and beneficiary, though this depends on all conditions, including the nature of the trust assets. It may be essential to remove a trustee if the relationship between both the trustees has deteriorated to the point where they are no longer able to make collective decisions or administer the trust.
What are the legal grounds for Claiming Against a Trustee?
The trustee has a legal obligation to manage the trust properly for the benefit of all beneficiaries equally. Inability to do so can result in serious financial implications as well as civil or criminal charges being brought against the trustee. Claims can be brought against a trustee if they have:
Trust funds that have been mismanaged or dissipated
Used the trust funds for personal gain
Prevented a beneficiary from accessing funds or assets to which they are legally entitled under the trust
Failed to pay them a beneficiary trust income to which they were entitled
Not disclosed trust information that should have been disclosed, or otherwise acted in breach of trust or permitted a co-trustee to act in breach of trust
Van Eaton Solicitors in London are skilled civil litigation solicitors. Our team can manage trust disputes claims on behalf of individuals who believe they have a right to a share of a property but that interest has not been officially recorded. Contact us today to see how we can assist you with your claim.