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Trust Disputes

Claims Against Trustees

Being a trustee involves a lot of responsibility. They must manage the trust efficiently and always act in the best interests of all the beneficiaries. If they don’t, this can have serious financial consequences.

Our expert solicitors could help you make a claim if a trustee has:

  • Mismanaged trust funds – such as distributing them wrongly or making bad investments
  • Used the trust funds as their own
  • Failed to act impartially between beneficiaries
  • Stopped a beneficiary from living in a property or accessing funds that they have a right to according to the terms of the trust
  • Failed to pay trust income to a beneficiary
  • Withheld information about the trust which they should have disclosed
  • Otherwise acted in breach of trust or stood by and let a co-trustee act in breach of trust.

People usually set up trusts as a way of protecting and preserving their wealth for their family. It can be a vital part of estate planning, keeping money and assets safe for children and other dependants for the future.

Trustees have a duty of care to these beneficiaries, who rely on them to make the right decisions on their behalf. If they have breached this duty of care, we can help you:

  • Remove or replace a trustee
  • Get information about the trust and its accounts
  • Recover money taken from the trust.

If a trustee has committed theft or fraud we can also help you bring criminal charges against them.

Our Wills, Trusts and Estate Disputes team is the largest in the UK and has resolved some of the country’s most high-profile disputes. We have particular expertise in dealing with complex and high-value estates.

Call today on 0345 604 4895 – or fill out our online contact form and we’ll call you back.

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24/7 advice on our Will Disputes Helpline
One of the largest trusts disputes teams in the UK
Specialist mediators available to resolve disputes out of court

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Claims Against Trustees - More Information
    • Will I Have To Go To Court?
    • Most disputes can be resolved by negotiation and discussion, without having to go to court. However, sometimes this isn’t possible and court is the only way.

      We understand that most people would prefer to keep their dispute out of court, and we will always do everything we can to try and reach an agreement by mediation. However, if your dispute does have to go to court, we will support you at every stage. We have the experience to handle court disputes efficiently and effectively, to achieve the best outcome for you.

    • How Much Does It Cost? Who Pays?
    • The cost of a Will, trust or estate dispute varies from case to case, depending on time, complexity, and whether or not you have to go to court.

      A dispute can be settled at any time if the parties can come to an agreement, and they can then decide how to split the costs between them. However, if an agreement can’t be reached and the case has to go to court, the court will decide how the costs will be paid.

    • How Can I Cover The Cost Of My Claim?
    • There are various ways you can cover the cost of your claim, depending on your case. These include:

      • Legal Expenses Insurance
      • Conditional Fee Agreement (‘No Win No Fee’)
      • Payment on conclusion
      • Private monthly billing.

      We understand that funds and assets may be tied up in the disputed estate, and we’ll be as flexible as possible to ensure that’s not another worry on your mind. We’ll discuss the different payment options with you at the start.

      Your first consultation with us is completely free, and there’s no obligation to continue.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • Depending on the type of claim you’re making, you may need to start your claim within six months of the grant of representation being issued. In all cases, it’s very important to seek legal advice as soon as possible, so you aren’t prevented from making a valid and potentially valuable claim. We’ll be able to advise you on your situation and how we can help.

    • Meet The Team
    • Our Wills, Trusts and Estate Disputes team is the largest in the UK and we have offices across the country. We are experienced in managing high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth claims as well as less complex ones.

      We’ve resolved some of the country’s most high-profile disputes and are particularly experienced with the unique challenges of multi-jurisdictional wealth management structures, rural property and inheritance tax.

      We are recommended by the leading legal guides and pride ourselves on the strong relationship we build with our clients in what is often a very trying time.

      Meet the team

My legal team has held my hand throughout, they have been incredibly patient and understanding"

Joy Williams, client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Responsibilities Does A Trustee Have?

A trustee has what’s known as a fiduciary duty. This essentially means they must always do what’s best for the trust and its beneficiaries.

Some of the key duties of a trustee are:

  • To comply with the terms of the trust and use reasonable care when administering its assets (e.g. not invest recklessly)
  • Not to profit from the trust
  • Not to act in conflict with the trust
  • To treat all beneficiaries equally (unless the terms of the trust state otherwise).

A trustee has very strict legal obligations and it is not a role to be taken lightly. If an individual has set up a trust as part of their Will, they are relying on the trustee to look after the financial interests of their loved ones when they are gone.

Trustees may be financially liable for any loss incurred by the trust, and if they’ve stolen money or committed fraud they could also face criminal charges.

If you’re worried a trustee has mismanaged your trust, we can help you make a claim. Call today on 0345 604 4895 to speak to one of the team.

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What Kind Of Action Can You Take Against A Trustee?

The action you take against a trustee will depend on what they’ve done. It may be a case of simply getting them to provide information, or it could be a more serious matter of removing them from their position.

Our solicitors could help you:

  • Remove or replace a trustee
  • Get documents or information that the trustee has been withholding from you
  • Get copies of the trust accounts
  • Make the trustee pay back any financial loss to the trust.

If more than one trustee is at fault, you can take action against them jointly, or pursue separate claims. We’ll be able to advise you on which is best.

Claims against trustees are usually made by beneficiaries of the trust. However, co-trustees can also make a claim, as well as any third party with an interest in the trust – such as a creditor who is owed some of the assets.

Call today on 0345 604 4895 to discuss a claim against a trustee – or fill out our online contact form and we’ll call you back.

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Is A Trustee Financially Liable For A Trust?

Trustees have a duty of care to act in the interests of the beneficiaries (rather than themselves). This means they must not invest recklessly or make unauthorised transfers.

If money has gone missing from the trust or assets have been transferred wrongly, we could help you:

  • Reverse a transaction
  • Freeze the trust assets
  • Make the trustee pay back the money.

Trustees could also face criminal charges if they have stolen money from the trust or committed fraud. If this is the case we can work alongside our Criminal and Regulatory team to take the necessary legal action.

Call today on 0345 604 4895 to speak to one of the team – or fill out our online contact form and we’ll call you back.

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