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29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
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04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
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01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
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23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
Great Interaction
Great interaction. I had a simple question which would have cost a fortune going to see a local solicitor. It was all very professional but still friendly. The solicitor I spoke to was the chief executive of her law firm (I looked her up on LinkedIn). You are dealing with very good lawyers who earn additional money through Lawhive. I would definitely use this service again. Highly recommend.
Mark,
29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
Tahir Idris,
04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
Julie Taylor,
01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
Jason Hunter,
23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
Rated 4.8 / 5. Showing our 4 & 5 star reviews.

About

A Trust Dispute is a legal dispute between a trustee and a beneficiary of a trust. The dispute may be over the terms of the trust, or the trustee's actions in administering the trust. Solicitors can help resolve these disputes and/or ensure that parties are compensated fairly.Next steps

How much does a Trust Dispute cost?

The cost for a licensed solicitor to help with a Trust Dispute is dependent on many factors including the complexity and specific requirements of the case. On average it is expected to range from £188-£250 but in some cases it could cost as much as £313.

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Trust Dispute Solicitors

Trusts play an important role in estate planning, aiming to efficiently manage assets and provide for beneficiaries according to the grantor's terms. However, trust management can be a complex beast, and the diverse interests of beneficiaries can sometimes lead to disputes.

Trust disputes may stem from disagreements interpreting trust terms, managing assets, distributing funds, or trustee conduct.

If you find yourself in a dispute relating to a trust, either as a trustee or beneficiary, our network of wills, trust, and probate solicitors is on hand to provide expert legal help and advice quickly for affordable fixed fees.

To get started, contact our Legal Assessment Team today for a free case evaluation and quote for the services of an expert lawyer.

What is a trust dispute?

A trust dispute is any disagreement about the management of a trust. Typically, it involves a conflict between a trustee and a beneficiary of the trust. The dispute may revolve around trust terms or the trustee's handling of trust affairs.

Types of trust disputes

Because of the complexities of trusts, disputes can arise from the various issues related to the management and running of a trust and who is set to benefit. 

Common types of trust disputes include: 

  • Different interpretations of a trust deed

  • Beneficiaries fighting over what they’re owed

  • Mismanagement claims against trustees

  • Whether the trustee had the legal right to create the trust in the first place

  • Debate regarding the value of assets held in a trust

  • Friendly disputes 

Friendly disputes happen when all parties acknowledge issues with the trust that require resolution. These typically involve trust structure or interpretation concerns. In such cases, the trust usually covers the trustee's legal expenses.

Trusts are complex and disputes can arise even with careful management aimed at avoiding such issues. In such instances, trust disputes may escalate to litigation and incur significant costs.

Can you claim against a trustee?

Claims can be made against a trustee when there are allegations that they haven't properly performed their duties. 

Some common reasons for claiming against a trustee include the mismanagement of trust funds, like distributing them poorly, making bad investment decisions, or using trust funds for personal use.

Also, if a trustee shows bias by favoring one beneficiary over another or restricts beneficiary access unfairly, you may have grounds for a claim against them.

Or, if trustees withhold important information about the trust that should be disclosed, you have the right to make a claim.

How to resolve a trust dispute

Trust disputes are most commonly resolved out of court through negotiation, or alternative dispute resolution, typically mediation. 

Resolving trust disputes usually requires the expert help of a solicitor with many years of experience acting for trustees and beneficiaries.

Various court applications can be pursued to address a trust dispute through legal channels, including:

  • Removing current trustees and appointing new ones.

  • Modifying trust terms or obtaining an order to sell trust property.

  • Reviewing trust accounts to investigate financial mismanagement.

  • Seeking court interpretation of ambiguous trust wording for distribution.

  • Confirming trustees' improper conduct, such as withholding information or misusing trust assets for personal gain.

  • Approving settlements for minors, unborn children, and individuals lacking mental capacity.

What are my rights as a trust beneficiary?

The rights of a trust beneficiary vary depending on the interest they have in the trust. 

Trust beneficiary rights include the right to: 

  • A copy of the trust instrument, or will

  • Deeds of appointment and retirement of trustees

  • Deeds of addition to the trust fund

  • Variations of the trust

  • Be informed about the trust and its administration

  • Trust accounting

  • Interrogate trust accounting

  • Be treated impartially by the trustee

  • Receive timely distributions from the trust

  • Apply to the court to have the trustee suspended or removed and surcharged

Can I remove a trustee?

If a trustee has breached their legal duty of care, you can act to remove or replace them, get information about the trust and its financial accounts, and recover money that has been taken out of a trust. 

On what grounds can I remove a trustee?

You can remove a trustee for:

  • Violating the terms of the trust agreement

  • Mismanagement of trust assets 

  • Fraud or misappropriation

  • Conflict of interest

  • Self-dealing (i.e.purchasing assets for trustees' benefit, or for less than market value)

  • Charging excessive fees

It is possible to pursue criminal charges against a trustee when they have been involved in theft or fraud.

Claims against a trustee can be made by a beneficiary, co-trustees and individuals with an interest in the estate, such as a creditor.

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Traditional Law Firms

Pay by the hour

Hourly charges mean costs are hard to predict and you could be charged more than you expect.

Frustrating

It can be take days or weeks to hear updates from your solicitor.

Outdated and offline

Offline and slow procedures will require you to visit firms in-person.

No support

No dedicated support team. You'll have to deal with issues on your own.

I am a trustee and a beneficiary is making a claim against me. What can I do?

If a beneficiary is making a claim against you it is important to handle the situation with care and follow the relevant legislation.

First, make sure you understand the nature of the claim and review all trust documents, including the trust deed to understand the claim against you. You should look at everything and consult with a solicitor to understand whether the claim is just and fair. 

It’s always a good move to communicate with the beneficiary to see if a resolution can be reached without going to court, as it can be costly for everyone involved. Disclose any information that is asked of you, and make sure you confront the situation openly and honestly. 

At this point, you might consider mediation as a cost-effective alternative to court.

If the issue cannot be resolved outside of court, you need to prepare for court with your legal representative and gather the necessary documentation you are asked to. 

How long does a trust dispute take to resolve?

How long a trust dispute will take to resolve depends on the complexity of the case, and whether each party is willing to resolve the dispute with good intentions. 

Some disputes can be resolved quickly in just a few months, whereas others go on for much longer if the parties are unwilling or unable to agree on a settlement.

What are the time limits for a trust dispute?

The time limit for bringing a trust dispute claim is six years from the date of the breach, or six years from the date of the discovery of the breach.

An exception is a fraudulent breach - in these cases, no time limit is in place. The same is true for recovering property previously held by trustees.

The likelihood of making a successful claim is improved by acting quickly. When you think a trust's assets are being misused it is important to act fast.

How much does a solicitor cost for a trust dispute?

The cost for a licensed solicitor to help with a trust dispute depends on many factors including the complexity and specific requirements of the case.

On average it is expected to range from £188-£250, but in some cases, it could cost as much as £300.

How can Lawhive help?

At Lawhive, we can assist both trustees and beneficiaries.

Trust disputes need careful consideration and expert legal guidance to successfully resolve.

Our expert wills, trust, and probate team can help you navigate the process of resolving a trust dispute effectively.

To understand your options under this complex area of the law please book a free case assessment with our Legal Assessment Team.

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