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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69258
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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After my fathers death in 2005 a Discretionary Will Trust

Resolved Question:

After my father's death in 2005 a Discretionary Will Trust was set up for my mother, for I.T. purposes. My mother died this year and the Trust is to be closed soon.
No money was physically paid from my father's estate into the Trust or from the Trust to my mother as a loan.
The trustees want my two siblings and I to repay to the Trust the loan of £275K, then they will pay us as beneficiaries, the £275K in equal amounts - my parents' wills are quite clear that all assets are to be shared equally between the three of us.
My question is - As no money changed hands, is this Discretionary Will Trust legal?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Do you have any idea why no money was paid into the trust?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


In July 2005

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Do you know why no money was ever paid into the trust?

What is this alleged loan of £275,000 that you are being asked to repay if you say that no money was paid into the trust or from the trust to your mother as a loan?

Why does the money have to go into the trust to repay it in if there was never any money in there in the first place? Of course, that might actually be what you are asking!

Are the trustees solicitors?

What explanation have you been given for this?

If you have money from your parents estates, which was to be divided equally between the three of you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My older brother who was a probate clerk dealt with this thru the firm of solicitors where he was employed. He was always very cagey about the Trust and my mother never held any paperwork. We "had" to believe that he was acting legally.

The trustees were my mother and 2 solicitors from this law firm.

My brother told me yesterday that this was quite legal and explained at great waffly length, and I didn't understand him.

He was convicted of fraud whilst in a position of trust in April this year and received a 4 month sentence suspended for 12. I have never trusted him, hence my concerns.

The money in the Trust could have been recalled at any time, so should still be around, if it ever existed, but he says her house and assets minus the 275k are not above IT threshold - or half of her house and assets. I can't remember exactly what he said.



Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you

The 1st point I would make is that you should ask that all correspondence relating to this go through this official channels such as the trustee solicitor and not your older brother.

If he has a conviction for fraud then I'm sure he would have advised the solicitors of this. I'm sure that you do not need me to tell you the reasons for this.

I would want a full explanation from the solicitors as to why this is needed and why the trust was ever set up when no money was paid into this.

Until you get all of that, do not part with anything.

On the face of it, I can see no reason for you to be asked to pay this money in only to have it paid that you.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69258
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The paperwork is also held by the trustees. We have received an "explanation" of the Trust, plus copies of my father's will, Deed of Variation and Covenant.

They want us all to agree to payment up front for 5 hours' work to complete the winding down of the Trust.

I left a message with them yesterday asking if any money actually changed hands but they didn't answer. I also asked for full details of the cheques that were (supposedly) used in both transactions. They didn't reply and now will not answer my calls.

I am beginning to wonder if this firm might be as "dodgy" my brother.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

They seem to be very generous with their time!

If there is no money in the trust and has never been because it was never utilised then I am at a loss to see what there is to wind up.

Even if there is some admin to tidy up I cannot see how that could take 5 hours.

I think this is probably what you are thinking as well.

From now on, put everything in writing and do not deal with this over the phone.

If you are concerned that the firm are acting in error then you can report this whole matter to the solicitors regulation authority
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your expert advice. I shall certainly do as you suggested.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.

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