Clarification required

I have been asked a question to which I don’t know the answer.

Background: The Will in question was not drafted by me. It is a life-interest trust with the homeowners being tenants in common.

This paragraph is in the Will.

My trustees can transfer trust assets to my wife XXX at their discretion.

The questions being:

  1. Does this mean the 50% (assumed) share of the property can be transferred from the trust to the survivor?
  2. How can the trustees make decisions regarding this issue? Unanimous, majority or individually?

Thank you in advance.

In relation to question 1, I suggest it would be necessary to see the whole will to put this into proper context, as the wording seems to imply the trustees might have a discretion.

As regards question 2, trustees must act unanimously, unless the trust instrument - the will in this instance – exceptionally provides otherwise.

Paul Saunders FCIB TEP

Independent Trust Consultant

Providing support and advice to fellow professionals