Disclosure: Considering entitlement

William Moffett examines when trust information should be disclosed to beneficiaries and the importance of holding trustees to account ‘Beneficiaries with fixed interests, as distinct from discretionary beneficiaries, can reasonably expect disclosure to be made to them by trustees, or to receive the assistance of the court in obtaining disclosure if it is refused to …
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Disclosure: Uncovering trustees‘ reasons

The Court of Appeal has provided beneficiaries with an alternative avenue for seeking disclosure against a trustee. Sophie Holcombe explains ‘The Court of Appeal expressly stated that it would not be correct to refuse to exercise the court‘s discretion to order compliance “because this disclosure could not be obtained from the trustees under the governing …
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Re A’s Application
 [2018] WTLR 353

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2018 #172

The trustee applied under s61 of the Isle of Man Trustee Act 1961, alternatively under the court’s inherent jurisdiction, for the opinion, advice or direction of the court in relation to its intention to negotiate with a foreign revenue authority for the discharge of tax liabilities of the settlement, the disclosure of information necessary for that purpose, and the payment of the tax irrespective of whether they are enforceable in the Isle of Man. The beneficiaries agreed with the relief sought.

Held, allowing the application:

  1. 1) Trustees were en...

Dawson-Damer & ors v Taylor Wessing LLP & anr [2018] WTLR 57

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2018 #171

The appellants were beneficiaries of a number of Bahamian trusts; the respondent solicitors (‘TW’) act on behalf of the trustee of these trusts. On 4 August 2014, the appellants served a subject access request (‘SAR’) on TW, requesting disclosure of the personal data relating to the appellants held by TW as the solicitors for the trustee. The appellants were not satisfied by TW’s response to the SAR. They therefore applied to the court to exercise its discretion under s.7(9) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (‘DPA’), and grant a declaration that TW had not complied with t...

International Trust Law: Disclose or withhold?

Gillian Coumbe QC discusses a recent case where the New Zealand Supreme Court considered the principles governing disclosure of trust information to beneficiaries ‘There is no absolute right to any trust document. However, where the request is made by a close beneficiary for access to core documents such as the trust deed and accounts there …
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Disclosure: A new dawn?

James Lister evaluates whether the Court of Appeal has established a new approach to disclosure and data protection ‘While in principle there are some potentially alarming consequences of this decision (Dawson-Damer & ors v Taylor Wessing LLP & ors [2016]) for trustees and their advisers in particular, it must be borne in mind that the …
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Accounting Rights: Classified information

Can beneficiaries demand the disclosure of trust accounts? Mathew Roper explains ‘It now appears to be settled in English law that the court should approach a request by a beneficiary for disclosure of trust documents as one calling for the exercise of a discretion rather than an adjudication upon a proprietary right.’ The right of …
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Erceg v Erceg & ors [2016] NZCA 7

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | November 2016 #164

The Acorn Foundation trust and the Independent Group trust (‘trusts’) were established by the late Michael Erceg (‘settlor’) in the early 2000’s. The appellant, who was a brother of the Settlor, was included within the classes of both discretionary and ultimate beneficiaries of each of the trusts. He was adjudicated bankrupt on 2 February 2010 and his estate vested in the Official Assignee under the Insolvency Act 2006. He was not discharged from bankruptcy until 12 May 2014 by which time the trusts had been wound up without any distribution being made to the appellant. Having u...

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution & ors v Headley & anr [2016] EWHC 1948 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | October 2016 #163

Evelyn Irene Farmer (the deceased) died on 12 January 1996 leaving a will dated 10 August 1993 (the will). The claimants were five of the ten charitable remaindermen under the trusts created under the will. They took absolutely upon the deaths of the deceased’s son and daughter in law. The deceased’s son was deceased but the daughter in law was still alive, and consequently the claimants’ interests were yet to fall into possession. The defendants were the executors of the deceased’s estate.

In 2007, the defendants wrote to the claimants enclosing an interim...

Blades v Isaac [2016] EWHC 601 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | May 2016 #159

The claimant was a member of a class of objects of a discretionary trust created by the will of Valerie Mary Lee who died on 19 June 2013. The defendants, who were partners in Tanners Solicitors LLP, were the trustees (including the sole proving executor). The relationship between the claimant and her elder sister (who had been added to the class of potential beneficiaries after the death of their mother) was affected by a history of strains between members of the family. The first defendant proved the will on 28 January 2014 in relation to an estate valued at £903,574. The second defend...