I have an interesting problem regarding the accounting for a discretionary trust. My client is one of 3 beneficiaries the other two being her father and her uncle. She has been receiving payments from the trust that the trustees (it would appear) have been classifying as payments from income. They have also been completing income tax returns on her or the trusts behalf, whichever is not clear.
She has periodically asked for an update on how the investments of the trust are doing and for some kind of accounting showing what is happening with the capital and income. To date she has been ignored or told she is not entitled. I then wrote on her behalf and asked for a copy of the trust document (it is a typical lifetime discretionary settlement) and for copies of the last 5 years accounts.
The solicitors administering the trust wrote back and said “In view of the nature of the trust we have no authority to release copies of the Accounts to you”. It would appear they are saying that my client has no right to ask for a copy of the accounts. Is this correct and if it is correct who are the trustees answering to regarding the trust?