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Helen Hill
Helen Hill, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 261
Experience:  LLB Law, Licensed Conveyancer and Probate Practitioner, Fellow of CILEx, Trust and Estates Practitioner (STEP)
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In 2000 after a divorce my ex-wife did not want to

Customer Question

In 2000 after a divorce my ex-wife did not want to destabilise our two children and thus decided to leave her equity in the family home in a trust deed. A trust deed was set up in 2000 protecting the equity in the family leaving half to me and the other half to our two children. The deed states that when I die the total equity will go to my two children. I have since re-married and my new wife and I have extensively rebuilt the family home using an inheritance she received from her mother and greatly increasing the value of the property and thus the equity. Had my wife pre-deceased her mother the inheritance would have gone to her two children.
We now wish to amend the trust to split the equity when we both die four ways between our four children. Is this possible and if so who has to agree to the amendment.
Thank you.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Helen Hill replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your question. Please could you kindly clarify a couple of points so that I can advise you?

Is the legal title to the property still held in the names of you and your ex-wife? Is this because there is an outstanding mortgage in your joint names?

Was it just you and your ex wife that were parties to the original declaration of trust? I presume from the above your ex wife has retained no beneficial interest in the property; it being divided between you and your two children currently?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The legal title is held by myself and my new wife with an outstanding mortgage in our names. The trust was and is in my name and our two children and my ex-wife has no interest in the property it being divided between me and our two children. By the way my two children understand the discrepancy and agree to a fairer distribution of the equity when both myself and my wife are deceased.
Expert:  Helen Hill replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

It is perfectly acceptable for you to execute a new declaration of trust to change how you wish your 50% of the equity in the property to be held. This can be done by executing a new declaration of trust and does not require the consent of your children. If you want to change how the whole of the equity is held (including the 50% now held by your two children) you can do this by all of you executing a new declaration of trust. If you change it so that all four children will benefit equally you should ensure that the interest of you and your wife is protected during your lifetime. This may be the case in the trust that you have at the moment. I'd be happy to review this for you if you would like me to offer it as an additional service.

I hope this information is useful. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Best regards, Helen

Expert:  Helen Hill replied 6 months ago.

Please let me know if you require any further information. If you have been happy with the service I have provided I would be most grateful if you could give a rating as this is how I am recognised for the assistance I have give.