Q&As

A party to financial remedy proceedings is the beneficiary of several trusts. Orders have been made directing the trustees (who are the parents of the beneficiary party) to provide information regarding one of the trusts, but they deny its existence. An application for a penal notice has been unsuccessful. What other options are there to obtain information regarding the trust?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 04/07/2019

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A party to financial remedy proceedings is the beneficiary of several trusts. Orders have been made directing the trustees (who are the parents of the beneficiary party) to provide information regarding one of the trusts, but they deny its existence. An application for a penal notice has been unsuccessful. What other options are there to obtain information regarding the trust?

The court in financial remedy proceedings will ordinarily seek to assess whether a spouse who is the beneficiary of a trust has by way of that beneficial interest a financial resource (see, generally, Charman v Charman and Browne v Browne). Such interests can be considered by the court as part of the circumstances of the case and may be treated as an asset in the balancing exercise to achieve a fair result. This will particularly be the case where the interest under the trust is a defined interest which is easily accessible now or in the reasonable future. There may be arguments, subject to needs, that trust assets should be treated as being non-matrimonial, depending on the nature of the trust and the length for which it has been established. See Practice Note: Introduction to trusts within financial proceedings.

A spouse who is a beneficiary under a trust must disclose that interest as part of the duty of full and frank disclosure within the financial remedy proc

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