22 August 2017
Dispute Resolution group successfully sue a Trustee for breach of trust
Matthew Brandis, practice group leader for the Dispute Resolution practice, acted for two beneficiaries of a property held in trust who were not paid monies due to them under a trust. The trustee has now been ordered by the Court to pay two beneficiaries over £60,000 plus their legal costs.
The case was unusual because the sole trustee was the deceased’s wife, and she was entitled to live in the former matrimonial home for her life, with the proviso that if she sold the property and bought a less valuable replacement property any cash generated as a result belonged, in part (2/3rds), to the deceased’s children represented by B P Collins LLP.
The trustee duly sold the property and bought another (much less valuable) property and then either spent or gave away the extra cash generated from the sale without our clients being told about this at the time.
When our clients realised what had happened they instructed Matthew to seek payment from the trustee. However, the trustee challenged the interpretation of the trust and then blamed her former solicitors for the way in which the trust deed was drafted (and also claimed she had not understood its terms at the time).
The Court entered judgment in favour of the deceased’s children.
Commenting on the matter, Matthew said “Family disputes are often complicated but B P Collins is well placed to assist clients resolve these matters amicably, or if necessary, via the court process. I am pleased to note that our clients are very happy with the outcome and the fact they have been vindicated."