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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am a trustee of a bear trust daughter. We won a medical

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I am a trustee of a bear trust for my daughter. We won a medical negligence case in the high court and she was awarded a compensation payout. We were coerced into having a professional trustee, who is a solicitor, and now they are causing no end of problems. Can I remove a professional trustee from the bear trust and how easy would it be?
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Could you please advise who coerced you please and what coersion took place exactly - coersion requires compliance to have been forced based on threats or violence.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My solicitor. I have an email from them saying we wouldn't need a professional trustee if we didn't want one but that they could be it if we did. As soon as I said, no, we won't go ahead with one, they then said we had to have one. They then produced some legal quote which stated, in most instances, a professional trustee would be required.

We weren't threatened but were basically held to ransom over it as if the trust wasn't set up, my daughter couldn't get the money. I suppose coerced was the wrong term to use then.

Thank you. Do you have correspondence from them that stated you had to use a professional trustee?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, in an email

thank you. That's fine. The word coercion is often used in everyday speech as you used it - it is just that one has to be cautious when using in connection with legal claims and complaints as legally it requires force or threats which would be a serious accusation. However, from what you say the solicitor provided you with incorrect advice and used inappropriate influence to win business for themselves. If you are your daughters legal parent then in the absence of the court order that expressly excludes you from acting as her trustee which I assume does not exist a parent is eminently qualified to act as a trustee for a minor and in almost all cases will be be best choice because a parent would not charge professional fees for acting as a trustee and would in most cases act in their child's best interests.Accordingly, I believe you can consider taking issue with the solicitor and referring them to the letter in which they advised you that you had to use a professional trustee complaining that you have ascertained that this advice was incorrect and inappropriate and that you consider that they use their influence in order to win business for themselves to their advantage and have not acted in the best interests of their client. Accordingly, you can ask them that they immediately retire as trustee and appoint you as the new trustee at which time you may (at your discretion) either consider the matter at a end and pay their reasonable fees to date or you will consider what fees are reasonable in the circumstances and/or you will raise a formal complaint in respect of their conduct and advice and if necessary refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman and if necessary seek an application for a court order to order the replacement of the them as trustee under s41 Trustee Act 1925 on the basis that their conduct as trustee is not in your daughter's best interests and their appointment was based upon wilfully negligent advice and given their fees and charges, it is not in your daughter's best interests for them to remain as trustee.the determination of the legal ombudsman if this is necessary is binding upon the firm and they must do as the determination instructs. A court has the power to replace a trustee under the above section though my suspicion is an application to the court may not be necessary if you make your above intentions clear to involve the legal ombudsman as my view would be that if the solicitors have given you the advice you refer to, that advice is indefensible. Appropriate advice would have been that if you are your daugthers natural parent you may wish to consider the use of a professional trustee but if you decide not to use one, and act as trustee yourself, you should ensure that in respect of any financial investment decisions you take in respect of trust funds, that you seek independent professional advice before doing so. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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