Breach of trust

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Trusts can be intricate, and having a firm grasp on your rights and responsibilities is vital.

Whether you’re navigating the challenges of a potential breach of trust, seeking clarity on a trustee’s duties, or looking for expert guidance on any trust-related matter, Moore Barlow and our expert private wealth lawyers are here to guide and support you. Our dedicated team is committed to ensuring you’re well-informed and confident in every decision you make.

What constitutes a breach of trust?

A breach of trust takes place when a trustee fails to adhere to the trust’s stipulations or their own fiduciary responsibilities. Trustees bear collective and individual accountability for any trust violations that result in financial detriment to the beneficiaries.

Scott Taylor

Scott Taylor

Partner | Private wealth disputes

01483 464274

What is a breach of trust?

A breach of trust refers to a violation of the duty or responsibility placed on someone to act in the best interest of another party. It typically involves a betrayal of confidence, such as misappropriation of funds, failure to fulfil obligations, or unauthorised use of assets.

What are a trustee’s duties?

A trustee has several important duties that they must fulfil. These duties include:

  1. Duty of loyalty: A trustee must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries and avoid any conflicts of interest. They must balance the beneficiaries’ needs and not use their position for personal gain.
  2. Duty of care: A trustee must exercise reasonable care and skill in managing the trust assets. This includes making informed decisions, conducting research, and seeking professional advice when necessary.
  3. Duty to follow the terms of the trust: A trustee must adhere to the instructions and provisions outlined in the trust document. They must distribute assets according to the trust’s terms and manage the trust in accordance with its purpose.
  4. Duty to act impartially: A trustee must treat all beneficiaries fairly and impartially. They must not favour one beneficiary over another unless specifically instructed to do so in the trust document.
  5. Duty to keep accurate records: A trustee must maintain detailed and accurate records of all trust transactions, including income, expenses, and distributions. These records should be available for beneficiaries to review upon request.
  6. Duty to communicate with beneficiaries: A trustee has a duty to keep beneficiaries informed about the trust’s administration and provide regular updates on the trust’s financial status. They must also respond to beneficiaries’ enquiries and provide necessary information.
  7. Duty to prudently invest trust assets: A trustee must invest trust assets in a prudent manner, considering the needs of the beneficiaries and the long-term growth of the trust. They should diversify investments and avoid unnecessary risks.

It is important to note that these duties may vary, depending on the specific terms of the trust and other factors. Consulting with qualified lawyers such as Moore Barlow is recommended to fully understand the trustee’s duties in a particular situation.

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Why choose our solicitors to help with breaches of trust?

At Moore Barlow, our solicitors have extensive experience in handling complex and delicate disputes, offering personalised guidance and practical solutions to safeguard your interests. With a deep understanding of the intricacies involved in breach of trust cases, we employ a collaborative and strategic approach to achieve the most favourable outcome for you. Trust us to navigate the legal complexities and protect your rights.

How can our solicitors assist you with a breach of trust?

Our solicitors are specialists in resolving disputes arising from breaches of trust We provide tailored advice and representation to individuals and families facing breach of trust issues, particularly in cases involving inheritance, trusts, and estates. Our team adopts a proactive and strategic approach to achieve the best possible resolution for our clients, whether through negotiation, mediation, or litigation. We understand the emotional impact of these disputes and strive to provide a supportive and empathetic service throughout the process.

We are here to help

Discover how our expert private wealth dispute lawyers can help you.

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Breach of trust – FAQs

How do you deal with a breach of trust?

We understand the seriousness of a breach of trust. Our experienced lawyers will carefully assess the situation, gather evidence, and develop a strategic plan to protect your rights and seek appropriate remedies. We will guide you through the legal process, advocating for your best interests and working towards a resolution that restores trust, whenever possible.

To prove a breach of trust, you need to establish that a fiduciary duty existed, that duty was breached, and the breach caused loss. Evidence such as documents, communications, and witness statements can be used to demonstrate the breach and its consequences.

Some common defences to a breach of trust include lack of intent, mistake, duress, consent, and necessity. These defences may vary, depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the applicable laws. It is important to consult with a qualified lawyer to determine the best defence strategy for your particular situation.

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