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Inheritance & Welfare Lawyers Assist with Complex Trust & Estate Issue

28 November 2012

Our client approached us with a complicated Trust matter arising from his late father’s estate.  

When his father died, he left a Will which contained a Trust. The Trust was over a commercial property and generated a significant amount of income each year for the Trustees to distribute. Unfortunately, however, the Trustees originally appointed had not received the appropriate advice to ensure that they were aware of the significant duties and responsibilities that Trustees have.

Our client discovered that there was only one Trustee left alive. This Trustee had not administered the Trust for the best part of 10 years. Our client had effectively maintained the collection of rental income from the commercial property himself but had set up accounts to collect the funds on the Trust’s behalf. Our client had then been approached by the Solicitors representing the sole Trustee, with a claim that he had acted inappropriately.  

Slater and Gordon Lawyers were instructed to review the Trust document to advise our client on his position and liability and to attend to negotiate an agreed settlement between all interested parties.

Slater and Gordon contacted the sole Trustee’s Solicitor direct and identified that their client had failed in their duty as Trustee for a number of years. Despite this, it was the intention of all parties to resolve the matter amicably and without the need for legal action. It was acknowledged by all parties that significant legal fees would not benefit any of the persons concerned.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers successfully negotiated an acceptable solution and ensured that our client was not held responsible for effectively assisting the Trustees over a number of years.

Given the breaches of duty, the Trustee was concerned that the beneficiaries would pursue them personally for any losses to the Trust over the period. Slater and Gordon successfully mediated an outcome, which was to the satisfaction of all beneficiaries concerned and ensured that the sole Trustee did not face legal action personally.