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Trusts Disputes

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

  • Direct access to your legal team
  • Transparent costs
  • Sorry, no legal aid
  • Free Initial Consultation
  • Deferred fee options in some cases

Trusts can exist on their own or within the terms of a Will and may be in force for many years – when things go wrong expert help is essential.

Our expert team have many years of experience advising Trustees and the beneficiaries of Trusts when disputes arise.  Supported by our expert Trusts Team, the Contentious Trusts and Probate team can help you to navigate this technical area of a claim.

What is a Trust?

A Trust is created when someone – the settlor – leaves a fund or property to be held by trustees for the benefit of someone else – the beneficiary.  Often here will be a number of beneficiaries.

Usually the Trust document, whether a stand-alone Trust or Deed or a Trust set out in a Will, states who the beneficiaries will be, who the Trustees will be and what powers they will have.

Trusts can be set up a variety of ways but will generally be either:

Bare Trusts – Where the beneficiary is entitled to the Trust asset and the Trustees are just looking after it for them; or

Discretionary Trusts – Where there are often a number of beneficiaries and they do not have an absolute right to the Trust asset.  The Trustees decide who gets what and when they get it.

Who can claim?

The terms of the Trust will depend upon what is said in the document setting the Trust up – that is the starting place.  This will usually determine who is entitled to claim against a Trust or the Trustees and what powers and assets the Trustees are looking after.

How do disputes arise?

Our expert team has acted for many clients in Trust disputes including

  • A claim by a beneficiary who had been wrongly excluded from the class of beneficiaries Trust
  • A claim by beneficiaries for their interest in a trust which should have been paid to them on attaining age 21 and had been held back
  • A claim for breach of Trust against a Trustee who had wrongly used Trust assets
  • A claim for recovery of Trust assets taken by a Trustee

The range of issues that can arise with Trusts is vast, particularly if non-professionals act as Trustees and fail to understand the nature and extent to their duties and powers.

We can help you work out if something has gone wrong, and if so what options are available to you to put it right.

Speak to our expert team today if you think that you may need to bring or defend a claim relating to a Trust or if you are a Trustee and you are unsure of your responsibilities.