Wright Johnston and Mackenzie Solicitors

Issues with Trusts

Trusts can be incredibly beneficial to protect assets, but this is a complex area of law. Trustees often find that legal help may be needed to ensure they get the best result for the intended beneficiaries.

Trustees have a duty to administer the assets that they hold for the beneficiaries using the powers available to them. That said, problems can arise during the lifetime of a Trust, even where all parties get along, such as:

  • trustees who have died, lost capacity or can’t be found, and where court action might be needed to appoint new trustees
  • a desire to take a certain course of action, but where the trust deed doesn’t allow it
  • a trust that requires assets to be distributed at a set time, where that is not what is best for the beneficiaries in the circumstances (whether that is due to their position, or for tax purposes)

When dealing with trusts, you will usually find they include a wide class of people who are classed as “beneficiaries”. If there are minor children, or potential unborn children, or unknown beneficiaries, it may be impossible for trustees to get agreement from all parties as to what to do. In those scenarios, court action is usually needed to solve that problem.

However, there are also disputes that can arise with Trusts, whether that is seeking information on the Trust or querying how it has been administered. We can advise beneficiaries on what information they are entitled to, or to seek an accounting from the Trustees. Likewise, we are on hand to keep Trustees right on what they do or don’t need to provide, and to defend any queries raised over their actions.

Our team has a wealth of experience in advising on this complex area of the law. The team includes an accredited specialist in Trust law (who holds a STEP Advanced Diploma in Trust Disputes). Please do get in touch if you think we can assist you.