Contesting a trust

Disputes often arise in relation to trusts, whether that be a trust created under a Will or under a formal trust deed. A trust dispute is any dispute relating to the administration or running of a trust, whether it involves a dispute over the value of assets, how trust funds are being used or dealing with difficult trustees or beneficiaries.

The law on trusts can seem confusing. Modern trusts are now governed by the provisions of the Trustee Act, 2000, however, any trusts created before that act came into force have a different set of rules that apply to them.

Our contentious probate team are leaders and experts in relation to trust disputes. Our team includes a member of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists and have acted for numerous clients across the country, whether they be trustees faced with a claim or beneficiaries bringing a claim, for advice call us on 0203 816 9314.

The claims are referred to as breach of trust claims.

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Actions against trustees for breach of trust can be made where:

  • The trustee has breached one of the many duties that a trustee must observe, such as bringing trust property under his control and acting impartially; or
  • The trustee in the exercise of their powers or discretion acts otherwise than with absolute honesty, or fails to observe the required standard of care

Anyone bringing a claim will generally have to show that they have suffered a financial loss as a result of the breach by the trustee and the court has the power to order the trustee to restore the trust fund to the position it would have been in if the breach had not occurred. If breaches are considered to be serious enough, the court also has the ability to order the removal of a trustee.

Breach of trust time limits

There are strict time limits to bring claims for breach of trust, which is usually six years from the date of the breach or twelve years if the claim is in relation to a deceased’s estate.

If you have a trust dispute that you wish to pursue or if someone is alleging breach of trust against you, it is important that expert legal advice is sought as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are properly protected and to explore all avenues possible to try and resolve the claim, without the need to go to court. Mediation is an option that is always considered and very often successful in trust dispute cases. Mediation is a good way of getting a resolution, without having to incur the costs of court proceedings.

Speak to our specialist trust disputes team on 0203 816 9314 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly. 

 

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