Trusts: Finding a way

Peter Steen and Robert Hines examine firewall legislation and the tension between legal fairness and economic expediency ‘It is evident that provisions of firewall legislation will prevail over questions of comity in circumstances where action by the trustees would result in them exceeding their powers under the trust.’ Asset protection, rather than legitimate tax mitigation, …
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TM v AH [2016] EWHC 572 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | September 2016 #162

The wife applied to join the trustees of the A trust and the B trust as parties to the litigation between the husband and wife. The husband was the settlor of both trusts. At one point husband and wife had been beneficiaries. They have now been irrevocably excluded from benefit. The wife was applying to vary both trusts.

One trust was subject to BVI jurisdiction and the other to the jurisdiction of the Swiss courts. The trustees of each trust were not submitting to the jurisdiction, and were intending to apply to the foreign courts for directions as to what to in respect of the l...

Nuptial Settlements: Break it up

Antonia Barker outlines P v P, which sheds light on the circumstances in which a trust will be considered a nuptial settlement ‘Practitioners should be aware that even where the ultimate trust is not a nuptial settlement, any individual settlement of an asset into that trust, or even the right to occupy a trust property, …
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AB v CB & anr [2014] EWHC 2998 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | January/February 2015 #146

This was an application for ancillary relief following the wife’s divorce petition of October 2012, upon which decree nisi was pronounced on 17 April 2013. At the time of these proceedings the wife was 44 years of age, and the husband was 41. On paper, the husband had almost no assets and a modest income. However, the husband came from a family of great wealth with substantial lands in Pembrokeshire which they had owned for generations. His financial security was therefore absolutely assured.

The wife and the husband had first met in 1999. They had married in Februa...

Financial Provision: Issues of trust

Ruth Abrams considers the interrelationship between nuptial settlements and trusts, the procedure for permission to appeal and the significance of new relationships ‘The trustees’ specific powers to advance all of the property to the husband during his lifetime was a decisive factor that led the court to conclude that the settlement as a whole, and …
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Pre-Acquired Assets: Setting apart

Fiona Wood outlines the courts’ approach to assets acquired prior to marriage and the factors to be taken into account Need cannot be assessed in isolation of the factors that are the key to the performance of the sharing principle such as pre-acquired wealth. The issue of pre-acquired assets arises in many divorce cases. While …
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Divorce: Stuck in the middle

Claire Blakemore provides a practical guide for trustees in the event of divorce ‘Trustees must consider carefully what position they will need to take in the context of the case and in particular on disclosure and enforcement.’ The American preacher Lorenzo Dow famously said ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ and this …
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Third Parties: To join or not to join?

Vicki McLynn considers the question of the interests of third parties in financial remedy proceedings ‘When the family court is determining a dispute between a spouse and a third party it must be approached on the same basis as if it were being determined by the Chancery Division.’ The issue of third-party interests in financial …
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Divorce And Trusts: Trusting Prest

Prest emphasises that it is unfeasible for the Family Division to take a differing approach to other divisions when piercing the corporate veil. Suzanne Todd explains ‘The recent decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Prest has far-reaching effects, way beyond the boundaries of the Family Division.’ Most people are familiar with Jane …
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