Solicitors’ Delay in preparing a Will – When is it Negligent?
We often deal with requests for information in relation to a trust, whether on the part of the beneficiary who wants to know what they are entitled to see, or a trustee enquiring how to deal with request for information from a beneficiary.
A beneficiary’s entitlement to information arises from a trustee’s duty to keep the beneficiaries informed as opposed to any ownership right to the documents and information. In every case, the trustee has a discretion and must make an assessment of all relevant circumstances at the time. The beneficiaries best interests as a whole are key and the purpose of the request a central factor.
We recently acted for a beneficiary who had been refused access to even the most basic trust documentation and it was necessary to make an application to the court. The complicating factor in this case was that one of the trustees was no longer in the jurisdiction and her previous solicitors were unable to trace her to obtain instructions. We were able to trace the missing trustee in order to serve the proceedings but in any event were able to enter into successful negotiations with the remaining trustee in UK who agreed to provide the account without further recourse to the court.
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