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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12046
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am the sole benefactor of a property trust that has two

Customer Question

Hello. I am the sole benefactor of a property trust that has two solicitors as trustees. This was created 30 years upon my fathers death. They were a family solicitor. Now this firm has merged with a larger firm and the trustees have retired due to old age. However they are still on the trustdeeds. I have contacted the new firm who I dont know and they are in the dark with it. What are there obligations I have written to them but as it goes back so long papers could be missing. There is a "will" which sets out the terms I am based in Luton, Bedfordshire
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 7 days ago.

Hello, and thank you for your question. I am your Expert and I will provide the answer you require.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 7 days ago.

1. Essentially what needs to happen today is that the trust needs to be reconstituted by the retired trustees. These retired trustees need to appoint new trustees from the new merged firm of solicitors who will now act as the trustees to the property trust. This is how the trust continues on and you continue to receive benefit from the property trust. So, you should contact the members of the new merged firm again and state that you want the trust reconstituted with new trustees and the trust continued. However, the new merged firm should have the trust deeds, will and papers from the trust as solicitors are under an obligation to continue to hold papers for twenty years after they last worked on a file. So, the retired trustees should be able to point out where the papers belonging to the trust are. This will ensure a continuity in the operation of the trust.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 7 days ago.

2. Thank you for using the website. Please use the buttons at the top of the page to rate or accept the answer as otherwise your Expert will remain unpaid by the website despite answering your question.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thankyou for this clear advice. Do the new solicitors have to act as trustees or can I as sole benefactor choose others that are known to me. I don’t know these solicitors
Expert:  Buachaill replied 7 days ago.

3. The right to appoint new trustees vests in the original trustees. However you should seek to speak with them and ask them to appoint trustees that are suitable for you making the point that the circumstances have changed now that their firm is now owned by a merged entity with different personalities involved. Normally trustees are extremely willing to take this step as they are well aware of the importance of the personal relationship in trusts.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thankyou for your help today. In this case where I suggest other people they don’t have to be solicitors do they ? They could be professional friends or business aquatancies
Expert:  Buachaill replied 7 days ago.

4. Yes, that is correct. Trustees do not have to be professional lawyers and can have some other occupation, so long as they are suitable to carry out the tasks involved and have some knowledge of the trust formalities.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thankyou for your help today. That closes this case with you
Expert:  Buachaill replied 7 days ago.

5. You are welcome. Best wishes. Be sure to complete the process with the website and rate the answer.