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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Can a Trustee demand payment before acting

Customer Question

Can a Trustee demand payment before acting
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 month ago.

Normally, a trustee or executor cannot demand payment at all unless there is a provision in the trust deed (a will?) which allows them to charge.

If this is a firm of solicitors, and there is no charging provision in the will which would allow them to be paid for doing the work, they would normally refuse to do the work unless the beneficiaries agreed for them to be paid. If the beneficiaries would not agree for them to be paid, and they will resign, and it requires an application to court to remove them and have them replaced.

They would be ill-advised to take this matter to the court because if they are refusing to act without payment and there is no provision in the will for them to be paid, the court will remove and replace them and ordered costs against them.

In cases like this, the trustees can ask for money upfront or ask for confirmation that the proceeds can be used to pay for solicitors costs and eventual disbursements.

Even if there is a provision in the will, whereby they get paid, it’s not unusual for trust the executors who are solicitors, to ask for, for example, the actual probate application fee upfront because that has to be paid at the time of application.

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