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Stuart J
Stuart J, Property Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 23353
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I would like to disband a trust fund my ex husband and I set

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I would like to disband a trust fund my ex husband and I set up for our childrens education. They have now all finished school and so the trust fund is no longer in use. The money is not invested , is loosing value and is being used up in administrative costs. How do I do this . My ex husband will not comunicate or cooperate with me . I would like the remaining money to be devided up between our children rather than being wasted on costs.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I have engaged a solicitor who has written numerous letters to the opposing trustee, she is my ex husbands wife. the letters are ignored. My brother was the other trustee but he is in the process of resigning.
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: It isnt a property , it is a trust fund , money is held in an HSBC bank account in the UK
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The trust fund has never been run as it should have been . The money has never been invested . The school fees were never paid on time and in the last term of my youngest sons education the school fees were not paid. He was threatened with expulsion( as happened nearly every term) this time though the trustee did not pay up and I had to pay the bill . I have never been repaid. . My children do not have any sort of relationship with their father , in fact he has said he never wants to see them again and has told one of my sons he has cut him out of his will . I can not see how in a situation like this , his wife as trustee can be said to have done her job as a trustee and have the best interests of the children at heart.

People set up trust funds and seem to ignore what’s going to happen when they want to unravel it or when the trustees fallout. That is one of the reasons that people appoint professional trustees such as it is. The problem with doing that is the professional trustees charge an arm and a leg and the kidney for the administration and I know one firm who would charge £250 minimum fee just for administering a cheque.

Provided all the children are over 18 then under the ruling in Saunders v Vautier if they all agree and they are all a full mental capacity, the trust can simply be brought to an end and the proceeds divided.

If the children are under 18 then it’s a court application to remove obstructive trustees and have them replaced. Not for the fainthearted and most certainly not to do yourself job. Complicated, potentially expensive and risky and not quick.

Being brutally honest with you, if the children have left school but are under 18, they are likely to be 18 years of age and able to rely on Saunders, before an application to remove the trustees would get to court.

If the trustees refuse to end the trust under the rule in Saunder or to otherwise deal, then it still got to go to court anyway and the court would be also asked toward all the costs of the proceedings against the reluctant trustee.

I’m afraid there is no easy quick magic way of dealing with this.

If I have answered your question for you, at the top of the page, you should see a rating facility. Can you please rate my reply 3 stars or more because that really helps me? Please note you are not rating whether it’s favourable, because sometimes you may not get the answer you want, but basically my knowledge and way of dealing.

The thread does not close and I am happy to answer any questions you may have arising from this.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your response . I was told this by one solicitor I approached but it is now a year since tyhat advice and still we have not moved forward . The solicitor has written about five letters , I have written also but we get nowhere. Am I able to take this to court without a solicitor . The facts are quite clear. The children are all over 18. They all want the trust disbanded. They all have no relationship with their father and resent their step mother being trustee. My brother wants to resigne but still my ex husband and his wife will not even discuss the matter let alone agree to disbanding the trust.
How can I move forward on this without spending too much money ?
Many thanks and I look forward to your reply.Helen

I am glad that 2 of us are giving you the same advice. It’s not really a case of not having moved forward, it’s a case that the solicitor gets paid for writing letters! Ever couple of letters haven’t worked, then it’s a court application.

There is no legal reason why you cannot go to court without a solicitor if you know what you are doing. If the children are over 18 then it’s the children that jointly make the application..

It is a Civil Procedure Rules part 8 application. You may find that the trustees become more “agreeable” once they get the court proceedings. You would always ask the court to award costs against the reluctant parties. I don’t how forceful and threatening the correspondence from your solicitor has been but clearly, not enough. In my opinion, proceedings have been issued six months ago.

If you could help me now please, in the way that I have helped you, I would be obliged if you could please use the rating service because that gives payment for my time and expertise here today.

If anything else crops up, we can still exchange notes. The thread doesn't close.

Kind regards.

Stuart J and 6 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you very much for your very helpful replies to my questions . The children will make a court application and hopefully we can get this resolved . I will rate you very highly , thank you