Deceased Sole Trustee

Any help or guidance with this matter would be appreciated.

I have been instructed by a beneficiary of a trust. Under the terms of the trust, my client is entitled to have the property transferred into their sole name. The property is the only asset held in the trust. The sole trustee has died. There is an express provision in the trust deed stating that the personal representatives of the deceased trustee should transfer the legal and equitable interest in the property to my client.

The trustee died intestate. The trustee is survived by children and it is the children who can apply for the grant of administration to get the property transferred into the name of my client. My client is not related to the deceased trustee. For various reasons, it is unlikely that the children will apply for the grant. The grant is not required for any of the assets held in the estate just this property held in trust.

If the children refuse to apply for a grant, is the only option to apply for a vesting order under section 44 of the Trustee Act 1925? Is there anything I will need to produce to the court to prove the children are refusing to apply for the grant?

If possible, I would like to try and avoid court. If you have experience in these types of matters, I would be interested to know how you resolved them.

Terrie Ross
Bobbetts Mackan Solicitors

No obvious solutions but, for what it is worth, a vesting order should be relatively painless and at most you should need a short hearing in front of a Master. It may well be something a very junior barrister could do for you pretty economically.

While I could understand your preference for somebody to take out a grant, a vesting order is probably the technically “better” route and the remedy is of right so I don’t think any evidence of delay is required - the witness statement could simply recite that the children have not begun the process.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP