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Senior Partner
Senior Partner, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13329
Experience:  Solicitor with more than 30 years experience
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In 2006-2007 Messrs Crust , Lane & Davis solicitors residing

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In 2006-2007 Messrs Crust , Lane & Davis solicitors residing in Cranbrook road Ilford Essex were engaged by myself and Brother to handle my late mother’s estate culminating in the distribution of her will in July 2007.
The distribution of the Will to the beneficiaries was undertaken by Crust Lane & Davis which culminated in them making payments to myself to keep in trust for my children their legacies until they reached the age of 21 and the same applied to my Brother and his children which he was to keep in trust until they attained the age of 21 (one of his children having reached 21 being provided with her legacy direct). Note I was not given the opportunity by Crust Lane & Davis at this juncture to be involved with handling my brothers children’s legacies as Crust Lane & Davis made the payments direct.
I have recently received a letter from solicitors acting on behalf of one of my brothers children who had reached the age of 21 and had not received their legacy – the solicitors have advised their intent in pursuing me for the legacy despite the fact that Crust Lane & Davis had released said legacies direct to my brother for his safe keeping / associated distribution when becoming due .I have provided them contact details of my Brother but they are still insistent that I remain culpable and they intend invoking proceedings against me for the legacy still owed as I was a joint trustee.
Could you advise on what course of action I should take?
Thank you for your question. Legally is you were a trustee or executor you may well be liable to the beneficiary. Has anyone explained what this beneficiaries father has done with the money? Why is he not being sued.

You have a number of things you can do - First join your brother to any proceedings and ask for a full indemnity as he received the money.

Secondly contact the law society and find out who is the successor to the firm Crust Lane Davies or the partners, Clearly if they distributed the funds without putting in place the appropriate protections or advising you then they may have been negligent and you can claim. against them . Although it was 6 years ago you should still have a claim as the default has only just come to light.

As a trustee of the estate however you are liable unless you took steps to get the agreement of the beneficiaries to payment to their father and/or took steps to secure the trust properly.
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