Trust disputes—appointment and removal of trustees
Trust disputes—appointment and removal of trustees

The following Private Client practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Trust disputes—appointment and removal of trustees
  • Appointment by the court
  • Appointment by the Court of Protection
  • Vesting orders
  • Appointment and discharge of judicial trustee
  • Appointment and discharge of custodian trustee

Trust disputes—appointment and removal of trustees

In general the trust instrument will provide for the appointment of replacement trustees (see Practice Note: Trustees—appointment of trustees) but this is not always the case.

In some circumstances the court may have to intervene.

Appointment by the court

Where it is found to be inexpedient, difficult or impracticable to appoint trustees without the assistance of the court, an application may be made to appoint a trustee in substitution for or in addition to an existing one.

The statutory power to appoint new trustees is very widely drawn and effectively enables the court to remove or discharge a trustee by appointing someone in their place. A court will not normally discharge a trustee unless another is being appointed in their place.

The court will only look to the preservation of the estate and the best interests of the beneficiaries when reaching a decision.

See Practice Note: Trust disputes—trustees' removal under section 41 of the Trustee Act 1925.

Appointment by the Court of Protection

Lack of capacity does not terminate a trusteeship and does not prevent property continuing to be held on trust. Any action taken by a trustee who lacks capacity will not be valid.

A person lacks capacity in relation to a matter if, at the material time, they are unable to make a decision for themselves in relation to the matter because of an impairment

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