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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10984
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My wife died nearly 4 years ago and i was coerced into leaving

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My wife died nearly 4 years ago and i was coerced into leaving the family home (which I paid the capital for) in a trust fund. The opportunity cost in effect was that I was granted outright ownership of the house in Cyprus (which I paid the capital for). I would like to be able to offer my stepchildren their mothers share in cash for the house in the UK now and dissolve the Trust fund as this would allow my to move on with my life. has any legal precedent been set to cover this area?
1. The creation of a trust is like any other arrangement. If the transfer of the assets into the trust was not fully voluntary, such as where it was obtained by duress or coercion, then that transfer of assets to the trust can be set aside. The case for setting any such transfer aside is much stronger than with any normal transfer, where the settlor (you) transferred the assets (such as the family home) for nothing and did not become a beneficiary of the trust. So, I would advise you to speak a solicitor and seek to initiate proceedings to set this trust transfer aside. Don't speak to the solicitor who set up the trust as s/he may have a liability for not ensuring that the transfer was fully voluntary. Speak with a different solicitor who will issue proceedings. You can then settle the proceedings, upon the terms you desire, whereby you pay the capital sum which represents your late wife's share in the family home to your stepchildren. That would be ultimately what you want. However, be aware that you will most likely have to litigate to achieve this objective.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks for your reply, in full faith I solely paid for the capital cost for the house (this can be confirmed by Barclays Bank Plc) and did not request that the title deeds be transferred into our joint names from my wife when we were married as i trusted my wife and could not envisage her doing something like this, given the unforseen circumstances (she died of a brain tumour 8 months after diagnosis). She at first requested the solicitor to set in her will that upon her death the house would be transferred to her children in full immediately, her solicitor advised that as we were happily married and and that i would be with her until the end, that she couldn't actually do this and at this point suggested that the house be put into a trust, whereby i have full use of the property until such time as i pass away. I agreed to this at that time however, the circumstances were as such that i really would have agreed to almost anything at that time and was not thinking clearly under the circumstances. the solicitor at the time commented on how generous he felt i was being which i later felt to be a rather odd comment. i really don't want my stepchildren who are all over 28 years old to suffer financially and want to give them their mothers share of the UK house in cash to ensure their own futures. i believe that they may well be open to such an arrangement as it would help them all now however, my brother in law who is a joint trustee will not accept this proposal and would rather they wait potentially another 25 years (i'm 51 years old currently) before they receive any inheritance from their mothers estate.
Its a bit of a minefield i know and as usual, there is as always the moral dilemma.
Do you believe that i should seek council with another solicitor and contest the trust knowing all of the above?
2. yes, I believe you should speak with another solicitor and see about the possibility of setting aside the transfer to the trust. I know there is a moral dilemma. But at the end of the day, you need to be happy with what has occurred.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I really want to thank you very much for your advice which is both clear and easy for me to understand and i will be taking your advice.
Kindest regards
Ken Dawson
3. Best wishes, Ken.