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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.
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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.
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.
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