Trust disputes within a family or close relations can be difficult to resolve without professional guidance, and they can cause added stress if you do not understand the full extent of the situation. The following guide helps you determine what the trust dispute is about, and the ways to find a sensible solution.
1. Understand the Grounds for Dispute
There are many different reasons why a dispute begins between the trustees. Ultimately, caring for the contents until the beneficiaries reach the age or date in which they may receive the contents. Common grounds for a dispute include problems with trust administration. Also, the addition or removal of a trustee, or issues concerning the trust’s contents. However, the most significant grounds for disputes concern a breach of trust.
These happen for many reasons. Such as if a beneficiary gifts a trustee’s assets not meant to receive. Or if a trustee invests the assets without authorisation. Alternatively, if a trustee is not acting impartially.
2. Know the Time Limits of Disputing a Trust
When a trust dispute occurs, and you wish to make a claim, there are time limits that you must ensure that you make a claim within. This time, aka the ‘limitation period’, is usually six years from the conduct of a breach of trust. A time limit receives an extension in the case of fraud. After this, your claims will not be valid.
3. Understand the Actions that Can be Taken
When you are in the middle of trust disputes, the first thing that you should do is seek legal advice to establish your case and discuss your options. Your trust dispute solicitors may suggest setting the trust aside, which can occur if the trust is found to be invalid. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as:
- If the trust is in place of a will.
- When there has been a breach of trust by trustees or other protectors.
- Wherein the trust has no legally appointed trustees.
- Finally, if the trust intends to defraud creditors.
You may then be able to apply to the court to sort out the disputed trusts and, in court, they can help you to remove or replace trustees.
4. Try Mediation First
However, applications to court can be long and arduous, not to mention extremely costly. So it’s vital that you attempt to solve the dispute through other options before settling on a court application. With the number of trust disputes at a 43% high, one of the best methods to solve trust disputes is to attempt trust dispute mediation. All parties in the dispute can discuss their options with a professional mediator (without bias). That mediator can prompt you to consider your options and guide you to a solution.
Therefore, when in the middle of family trust disputes, you should ensure that you have detailed knowledge of the best ways to solve the case outside of court, as this will ensure that you are able to maintain good relations with your family and solve problems as quickly as possible.