Q&As

Is a personality clash a legitimate reason to remove a trustee?

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Published on LexisPSL on 27/02/2014

The following Private Client Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is a personality clash a legitimate reason to remove a trustee?
  • Powers to remove a trustee
  • The court's approach to a personality clash

Is a personality clash a legitimate reason to remove a trustee?

Powers to remove a trustee

Power to remove a trustee may be derived from the following:

  1. an express power contained in the trust instrument

  2. s 36 (1) of the Trustee Act 1925 (TA 1925)

  3. by court order under the TA 1925, s 41

  4. at the direction of the beneficiaries under section 19 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA 1996) Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, s 19

It should also be noted that the court also has an inherent jurisdiction to order the removal of a trustee. For more information, see Removal of trustees—Inherent jurisdiction.

In practice, it is rare to find an express power to remove a trustee in a domestic trust instrument. Even where such power exists, the trust instrument may limit the circumstances within which it may be invoked.

If an express power does not exist then the TA 1925, s 36(1) allows for the replacement of a trustee in certain circumstances. This includes where a current trustee:

  1. has died

  2. is looking to retire

  3. is absent from the United Kingdom for

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