We can advise both beneficiaries and trustees on a range of disputes, including:
- Claims by or against trustees;
- Removing a trustee
- Disputes between beneficiaries;
- Disputes between trustees;
- Issues regarding the administration of a trust.
Our Dispute Resolution team have experience in acting for both beneficiaries and trustees in relation to Trust disputes. We will aim to identify your goals and the most effective ways of achieving your aims at the outset of your case. We will try to resolve your case without the need for court proceedings wherever possible and we are skilled in all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (including mediation).
Can the actions of a Trustee be challenged?
If it can be shown that a trustee has breached their duty (either their legal duty or a duty pursuant to the terms of the trust) then the actions of a trustee may be subject to legal challenge. In some circumstances trustees may be removed from office by an order of the court.
Do all Trust disputes result in court proceedings?
No. Wherever possible we will seek to resolve the dispute informally by negotiation and alternative dispute resolution. The majority of trust disputes reach settlement without the need for court proceedings to be commenced. Should this approach not prove successful however, we have experience and expertise in trust litigation and court proceedings can be commenced.
How much does a trust dispute cost?
It is difficult to accurately predict the total cost of any dispute as no two disputes are the same and the costs are largely dictated by the amount of work required to bring the dispute to a final resolution. We appreciate that clients do not like uncertainty in relation to legal costs and depending on the circumstances of the case, we are able to offer a number of funding options to clients in order to suit their needs.
What are duties and powers of a Trustee?
A trustee has the legal responsibility for assets held in a trust and is required to manage the trust in accordance with the specified terms and the settlor’s wishes. Trustees are subject to various duties and as part of their function, including a requirement to: -
- Act with responsibility and care;
- Administer/manage the trust in accordance with the trust deed;
- Act fairly and impartially to all beneficiaries;
- Keep detailed records to demonstrate the trust has been managed properly;
- Not to personally benefit from the trust.