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Trusteeship and bank accounts

Trusteeship and bank accounts

Postby shootist » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:24 am

More queries on trust and land issues. Same basic outline. A dozen owners of a piece of land, four trustees names on the Land Registry. A decode or more ago, one of the trustees managed to acquire control of the bank account used to manage the finances of the group, which includes renting out various facilities on the land, paying insurance, and other necessaries (if that word has a legal meaning, please ignore it for now). He operates this account in conjunction with two other owners and makes every effort to obstruct access to account details, activities, and most certainly any participation in control of the account.

The question is, what avenues are open to the other trustees to try and remedy what seems to be a rather doubtful situation?
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Re: Trusteeship and bank accounts

Postby atticus » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:29 am

They may require a full financial account, as may the beneficiaries.
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Re: Trusteeship and bank accounts

Postby shootist » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:38 am

Thanks. I assumed there would be some sort of initial ability of that sort. Is there a definition of what constitutes a 'full financial account'?
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Re: Trusteeship and bank accounts

Postby atticus » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:42 am

What do you think those words mean? Where is the possible ambiguity?
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Re: Trusteeship and bank accounts

Postby atticus » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:52 am

http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cg ... 7/225.html - see paras 16 and 17, and also para 62.
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Re: Trusteeship and bank accounts

Postby shootist » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:37 pm

atticus wrote:What do you think those words mean? Where is the possible ambiguity?


You're a lawyer and you are asking me that? Following it up with a piece of case law, the summary of which consists of about 10,000 words? :shock: :D

(Please excuse the dreaded yellow blobs, but I wanted to positively indicate my reply was made in good humour.)

Many lawyers make their fortunes arguing over the meaning of such words. One person's interpretation might be a copy of the bank statements. Another might want to know what was paid, to whom, and why. (Such might be the case here)

But, thanks for the case reference. I will study it at leisure.
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Re: Trusteeship and bank accounts

Postby atticus » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:17 pm

You were referred to just 3 paragraphs. In fact just one sentence of para 17 nails the point for you.
The absolute minimum that a trustee must do if there is to be a trust is that he must (1) at least hold and safeguard the trust property, (2) provide information to the beneficiaries concerning the terms of the trust, so that they are in a position to check that the trusts are being carried out, and (3) keep accurate and reliable accounts and records of his custodianship to prove that the trusts are observed
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Re: Trusteeship and bank accounts

Postby dls » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:11 pm

The case quotes a perhaps more helpful statement of Matthews M: "Every beneficiary is entitled to see the trust accounts, whether his interest is in possession or not", but "There is some danger of misunderstanding here. When the books and cases talk about beneficiaries "entitlements to accounts" or to trustees being "ready with their accounts" they are not generally referring to annual financial statements such as limited companies and others carrying on business (and indeed some large trusts) commonly produced in the form of balance sheets and profit and loss accounts, usually through accountants, and - in the case of limited companies - filed at Companies House. Instead they are referring to the very notion of accounting itself. Trustees must be ready to account to their beneficiaries for what they have done with the trust assets. This may be done with formal financial statements, or with less formal documents, or indeed none at all. It is no answer for trustees to say that formal financial statements have not yet been produced by the trustees' accountants.
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