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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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If I make a declaration of trust of a property / equity is

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If I make a declaration of trust of a property / equity is made to 3 beneficiaries, but i am the owner of the title to the property and the trustee, what if i then decide I want to revoke the gift?

Yes, you may revoke the trust/gift as long as the declaration your made does not state that it is irrevocable.

It would be advisable to notify the beneficiaries of your decision to revoke the trust and why so that any grievances may be dealt with quickly as they arise instead of being left open ended.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. I looked at the Declaration and Covenants on the trust declaration document and the word 'irrevocable' has not been used at all. So on that basis how do i legally revoke the trust?

2. When you say grievances, the property is mine, a 1 bedroom flat i have paid for, via mortgage, during my working life with approx 120k equity + a 40k mortgage which i continue to pay. The trust declaration is a simple standard document and it was only an intention to leave the equity between my 2 brothers and my wife, if i died. Sadly my wife has a long term condition which has worsened and I may now need the equity to help her. I know i can explain that to my brothers, the other two beneficiaries, but if and when i do i want to make sure i do that from a position of strength and not have to go cap in hand, so to speak. One of of the covenants does say that if i dispose of their shares I need their permission in writing but this seems unfair as the property title should always remain in my name?

3. The two of other beneficiaries that are my brothers, who i trust implicitly, are both married, one being separated but still legally married. Can his estranged spouse have any claim on the property even though that brother has no other assets of his own?

Many thanks for your response so far.

You may simply draft a letter saying that the Declaration of trust made by you on xyz date is hereby revoked with immediate effect.

As you will not be disposing off their shares and the trust will be revoked, you do not need to get their written approval, although as I said, it would be a good idea to notify them of your revocation.

No, the spouse cannot have a claim on your property once you have revoked the trust.

All the best

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Sorry, I will give an excellent service response in due course, however i do have 2 further questions as a result of your response to question 3.

1.If i do not revoke the trust and the my brother and his estranged wife then get divorced, I assume there is a potential claim that could arise?

2. Can I revoke the trust for one brother but not the other, therefore leave my wife and older brother as beneficiaries intact or would i need to draft a new trust declaration?

Many thanks.

Thank you for the excellent feedback and bonus.

In response to your further queries:

1) yes, a potential claim could arise in such an event

2) you may do so by a deed of variation of the original declaration, you do not need to make a new declaration in that case.

May I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Under what grounds could a potential claim by my brother's estranged wife arise? and can i avoid this happening without revoking the trust?


Also, my wife and i have had subsidence problems as a result of two tree's on my neighbour's property, which is a sports club. Last time we paid for the tree's to be pruned which was ok as we have a right of way on that part of land which had a path. However the neighbour has now erected huge gates and internal fencing to prevent access even if we wanted to pay for the trees to be cut. We are kind of at his mercy/ goodwill, but he has proved to be unreliable as he often walks away from his debts even though others have tried to take him to court for various reasons. He has now grassed over the path so as to hide any evidence of a footpath having existed and i am also unable to trace the true owner of the 3 hectare piece of land as there seems to be several addresses and names associated with the property, with some of the land showing up as unregistered. What can i do?

The potential claim will be against his share e.g. he may have to share his share with her.

Please open a new question re: your new query.

Thank you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry, but your response to the first questions does not answer my questions: Under what grounds could a potential claim by my brother's estranged wife arise? and can i avoid this happening without revoking the trust?



Sorry, the potential claim may arise if they were to divorce and a court has to determine who gets what of their assets, or he agrees that she should get a share of his share in your property.

As long as he has a share under your Trust, it will be a potential claim, so the only way to cut off this risk is to revoke the trust in his favour.

All the best
Customer: replied 3 years ago.