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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10944
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I have a letter of intent issued in 2001 by a former

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I have a letter of intent issued in 2001 by a former trustee. In it I am recognised as primary beneficiary of a discretionary trust. The current trustee is disregarding this. I have only just found out that he has been having meetings with contingent beneficiaries
and his recent behaviour, which has been partial to them, falls into place. How do I set about making the new trustee adhere to the terms of the old trustee's letter of intent? I must add that the current trustee is not answering my letters. He also tells
me that the contingent beneficiaries have the same right to full information as I do.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes. I will wait
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes we can wait until you have the right answer
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
1. Can you better explain the situation. Who was the settlor of the trust? Was it the first trustee who signed the letter of intent? Did the settlor issue a letter of intent? Does the trust list all beneficiaries?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1. The settlor was my late mother.
2. The letter of intent was signed by the first trustee.
3. The settlor did not sign a letter of intent.
4. The beneficiaries are listed, not by name but by category. All my descendants.
1. At the outset, you need to realise that a letter of intent issued by a trustee is not meant to be, nor is it, legally binding. Rather, it is written so as to guide the exercise of discretion by the trustees and also to provide information to the putative beneficiaries as to what the trustees consider a proper exercise of their discretion. However, with respect to a discretionary trust, it is not lawful for the trustees to fetter their discretion and to adhere to a definitive plan. Rather, they should exercise their discretion on an ongoing basis having regard to the objects of the trust. So if trustees today, slavishly followed a letter of intent of a former trustee, then that would mean that the decisions made could be set aside, as the decisions made today, would not be a fresh exercise of discretion by the trustees. In no way, can the previous decisions of one trustee be considered binding upon subsequent trustees. So, there is no way, in law, that this previous letter of intent can be made legally binding. So, the previous views of the trustee are in no way binding upon today's trustees.
2. So there is no way, in law, that you can make today's trustees adhere specifically to the letter of intent of the previous trustee. Secondly, each of the beneficiaries, whether contingent or not, have a full right to all relevant information and accounts of the trust. This is a free-standing right given by the law of trusts and in no way is it limited to only one category of beneficiaries. So, the trustee is correct in say that the contingent beneficiaries are entitled to the same full information as you are.
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10944
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
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