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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34892
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Trust assets on divorce.

Customer Question

Attachment: 2014-08-31_151451_land_registry___copy.pdf

My wife and I are divorcing and seeking a "Clean Break". The decision is amicable and without any rancour. I intend to allow my wife to retain the family home and agree to the title deeds being amended to show her as the sole owner. We also have another property which we purchased and then placed in trust to be held in trust for us as beneficiaries. We have agreed that I shall retain that property as the sole beneficiary. My questions are: As my wife and I transferred the property to the trustee are we deemed to be the settlors? Can I request that the trustee amend the trust document to show me as the sole beneficiary. I also intend to emigrate and require the property to be sold in order that I can fund my new life abroad. Can I request that the trustee (Who has a right to reside in the property) sells the property and pass to me the funds as my beneficial right.  I attach a copy of the trust deed and title deeds for your information and consideration in answering.

Attachment: 2014-08-30_200822_trust_deed__copy_.pdf

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much are the houses worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Good morning. The houses are worth the following:


Family home - Approx £265000 no mortgage outstanding.


House held in trust - Approx £100000 again no mortgage outstanding.


Can we as beneficiaries request the house held in trust be sold as asked by my first question.



Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
I am afraid that it is crystal clear that you CANNOT insist on the sale of the property - your mother in law has the right to reside there so long as she wishes
So unless and until she wishes to leave the property will remain in her name
I should also make clear that you have not transferred the property at all.
Your mother in law owns the property - but holds it on trust for you and your ex.
It is certainly possible for this to be varied so that the house is held in Trust for you alone - but that assumes that you are willing to wait for the funds
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The trust deed states the property fee simple was paid by the purchasers (My Ex and I) and the property was transferred to the trustee as trustee for the purchasers. I am confused as to why you state the property was not transferred by myself and my ex to the trustee.


I accept the council transferred the property to the trustee, the sum was paid by the purchasers. My mother only received the property as the trustee, a position she would not hold unless the purchasers agreed.


I believe the purchasers are obviously identifiable and the trust was set up by them for the benefit of the beneficiaries.


The deed is silent on the length of time my mother has a right to live in the property. If both the purchasers as the likely settlor of the trust and the beneficiaries agree can we require the trustee sell the property.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
The property was purchased by your mother in law - as it had to be in order for the purchase to happen ay all.
SHE was the purchaser - not you - that is what all the conveyancing documentation will say because that is the case - wherever the money came from.
Because the money came form you she then signed the Declaration that she holds it in Trust for you - you did not at any time transfer the property to her - you transferred cash which she changed into a property.
I am afraid the very fact that the deed is silent about how long she can live there is the problem - there is no limit set so I am afraid no you and your wife cannot force her to sell the property at any time