Trust disputes

If as a beneficiary or trustee you are involved in a trust dispute, our team of estate planning, wills and probate solicitors can advise and represent you. 

Trust matters can become contentious for a number of reasons, necessitating the involvement of a specialist in this area of law to bring about a resolution.

What are the common reasons for trust disputes?

Trust disputes may occur as a result of the actions, or inactions of a trustee, co-trustee, legal practitioner, or the settlor.  Reasons may include:

  • A breach of trust by a co-trustee.
  • Poor administration of the trust.
  • Removal and/or substitution of executors or trustees.
  • The settlor lacked mental capacity.
  • The settlor was unduly influenced.
  • The settlor received negligent legal or tax advice when creating the trust.
  • The settlor created the trust in an effort to defraud.
  • The trust deeds are themselves fraudulent.
  • Trustee negligence.
  • Trust deeds don’t accurately reflect the settlor’s wishes.
  • Vague and unclear trust deeds.

On receipt of a complaint in relation to the handling of a trust, it is essential to seek legal advice from a trust fund Solicitor with the experience and legal expertise to determine if there is a true basis for a dispute and to decide on the possible courses of action. 

It may not always be necessary to seek formal action in regard to a trust dispute.  Alternative dispute resolution is an effective method in many cases to bring about an amicable outcome to a dispute of this nature.

We understand the highly sensitive nature of trust disputes.  If you are a beneficiary who feels that they have been unfairly treated by the settlor or the administrator, or as a trustee you are being subjected to unreasonable demands by beneficiaries, we will take the time to understand the underlying factors of the case, and seek a resolution with the minimum of cost, time, and damage to already fragile relationships.

How can alternative dispute resolution (ADR) resolve trust disputes?

ADR methods, such as mediation, adjudication, and arbitration all aim to achieve an amicable outcome to a dispute by using non-legal means.  ADR has become increasingly popular in Ireland in recent years due to its considerable benefits; it is typically much cheaper and faster than litigation involving the Courts, and crucially it helps preserve relationships.  ADR dispute resolution relies on an independent and neutral third-party who will either play a role in helping the parties to find their own conclusion (mediation) or make a determination on their behalf (arbitration).

Why choose Lavelle Partners to assist you with trust disputes?

  • We are a partner-led firm, meaning the partner you meet will manage your case and be available to you if you have any questions.
  • As specialists in ADR methods, we can often find a solution to your trust dispute without the need for formal Court involvement, saving time, money and preserving family relationships.
  • Our Solicitors are approachable, intelligent, and pragmatic.  Our Managing Partner and founder Michael Lavelle is a well-known Dublin lawyer and refuses to call something a ‘problem’; it is merely a ‘slight issue’.
  • Our clients remain with us long-term and most of our new clients come to us via referrals.  In addition, most team members have been with the firm for 15-30 years.  We know our clients, their families, and their businesses inside out and this helps us provide exceptional service and gives people confidence in the quality of the advice and representation they receive.
  • Our advice is to the point; we will not ask you to choose between five different options, we will advise which one will protect and further your best interests.
  • When it comes to trust and inheritance matters, we always are sensitive and compassionate in our dealings.
  • Nicola Walsh, our Head of Property, holds a Diploma in Trust and Estate Planning (Law Society and STEP) 2004.

For further information regarding trust disputes in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800.

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