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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10955
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Can a beneficiary or potential beneficiary be removed from

Customer Question

Can a beneficiary or potential beneficiary be removed from an irrevocable discretionary trust, by the trustees?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
1 Trustees have no power at law to remove a beneficiary from an irrevocable discretionary trust unless the settlor, who created the trust gave the trustees an express power to do so. However the trustees may exercise any discretion they may have under the trust in such a way as to Not benefit a particular beneficiary. So the ultimate effect may be the same.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks. We have been given no definitive answer, but it has been suggested we contact the trustees to ask them why we were removed. Also a possible explanation has been given that because we are French residents, we could have been removed due to that fact and the potential issue or risk to the trust because France does not recognise trusts. Does that sound plausible? Also, how can I find out if the settlor gave express power to the trustees to be able to remove potential beneficiaries? We are not being allowed to see the letter of wishes, or the trust deed and are being told we are no longer potential beneficiaries. Any help gratefully received.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
2. Dear Alex, as a beneficiary, you are entitled to full information concerning the trust, including seeing the Letter of Wishes. If access to the basic documents of the trust is being denied to you, you should issue a Summons and compel production to you. However, you should first get a solicitor to write and point out the legal position to the trustees and seek the trust documents. It is in the founding Trust Deed or will that created the trust that you will find out the terms of the trust, including the express terms of the trust and the powers given to the trustees. On a straightforward view, your location in France should make absolutely no difference to how you are treated. Additionally, there is no lawful reason why you should be excluded. So I would advise you to engage in correspondence with the trustees and prepare to litigate over the issue of your exclusion as there is no lawful reason why you should have been excluded.