Trusts: The complete picture

Sean Hilton highlights the importance of identifying trust issues at the outset of a case and ascertaining the willingness of trustees to make distributions from such assets ‘If the court is to find that assets not held in the name of an individual are nonetheless a resource available to them, it must first hear evidence …
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Financial provision: Out of bounds

In the conclusion to a two-part analysis, Bronwyn Bailey and Ethan Axelrod consider when the courts may give judicious encouragement to trustees to satisfy an order made against a party ‘The court needs to be satisfied that the trustees would be likely to respond to judicious encouragement, so that the required funds would be likely …
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Trusts: A safe foundation

Claire Blakemore suggests that when dealing with trust assets, even the powers of the family courts have their limits ‘Any inconsistencies between how the trust is used or the trust documentation and the presentation to the court can have a significant impact on the outcome.’The law on the treatment of trusts on divorce is constantly …
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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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WA v The Executors of the estate [2015] EWHC 2233 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | October 2015 # 153

Having entered into a pre-nuptial agreement, WA (‘the wife’) married HA (‘the husband’) in 1997. The wife was an heiress and the husband brought modest assets of his own to the marriage. They kept their finances separate. The couple and their three children lived on a very large estate (‘the Z estate’) during the marriage and restored it using the wife’s finances.

The marriage broke down in 2014. Both the wife and husband instructed expert family lawyers which supported the brokerage of an agreement. Following disclosure of their respectiv...

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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BJ v MJ [2011] EWHC 2708 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | April 2012 #118

The husband (H) and the wife (W) were both 65, having married in 1980. There was one child of the marriage (C), aged 25. The former matrimonial home was Green Farm, a substantial property set in 72 acres in Kent. Trust assets fell to be divided following divorce.

In order to mitigate tax on the floatation of his company (ABC), two Jersey trusts were created by H in 1994 (No. 1 Trust and No. 2 Trust) and a company incorporated in the British Virgin Island called Giloch Investments Ltd (Giloch). No. 1 Trust was a discrertionary trust for a class of beneficiaries comprising H, W, C, ...

Trusts And Divorce: Access all areas?

Whaley v Whaley poses the question of when a trust fund is a ‘resource’ in divorce proceedings, as Emily Exton explains The divorce case of Whaley v Whaley [2011] is a stark example of the application of well-established principles in the family courts concerning the treatment of a trust fund as a resource to which …
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Trusts: Every penny counts

James Lister and Sean Hilton summarise the approach to trust assets in family proceedings Case law demonstrates the need for absolute clarity from the outset, the nuanced nature of cases involving trust assets and the enhanced duties of the lawyers involved to give judges proper guidance so as to avoid unsafe decisions. It has always …
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