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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71140
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I need to find out whether the ownership or conditions of sale

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I need to find out whether the ownership or conditions of sale of a property are affected by any Trust. The LRO suggests it is not, but I gather there can be Trusts not mentioned in the LR.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am getting divorced, and my wife has full ownership of a property, as evidenced by the LRO. But she claims her brother 'has an interest' in the property, and will gain from any sale. How can I find out about any Trust that establishes this?

There is no requirement for a trust to be registered for it to be effective. However the interest still applies and all you need to do is ask the seller if there are any trusts affecting the property.
Its not really any more complicated than that I'm afraid.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for this. wife is not very forthcoming with her information, and I wonder if there is any way to find out myself before our next mediation session if there is any such Trust? James

I wouldn't know anything about your matrimonial issues because that isn't my area but I can help with the property aspect.
If her brother genuinely has an interest in the property there should be a deed of trust which may not necessarily be registered. Although in an ideal world there should be a deed of trust, there may not necessarily be one. However just because there is no formal document does not necessarily mean that he does not have a claim on the property. As you can probably appreciate it is not unusual for a spouse faced with giving a large chunk of their solely owned property away to a divorcing spouse, to claim that someone else has an interest. Of course, someone else may have an interest but they are going to have to prove it.
You can put her to strict proof (ask her to prove) that the brother has an interest and she is then going to have to prove what his interest is and whether that was contribution of money to the purchase price (which he is going to have to evidence with bank statements etc) or whether it was in respect of work done on the property (for which he is going to have to produce some receipts. Without the proof, he has no claim.
Meanwhile, if the property is in your wife's sole name and is the former matrimonial home and if you have not done already, you need to register a Matrimonial Home Right notice against the property which stakes your claim against the property as part of the marital finances division.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So there is no way for me to find out myself if there is any such Trust? (To avoid being caught by surprise.)

Not unless it is registered. However if you ask the brother or ask the spouse they have to answer you honestly.
They cannot say that there is not one if there is and they cannot say that there is not one and then later change their mind.
This should be declared in her financial statement anyway.
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