Hostile ex is Executor and Trustee

The deceased appointed a friend and his then fiancee as Executors and Trustees of the Will. He left cash gifts to his grandchildren (currently minors) on attaining 25 years and the residue to my client (currently 23) on attaining 25 years. The ex fiancee is hostile and lives in the USA. Through his Solicitor the friend is applying for Probate to the Estate in his sole name with power reserved. Any ideas as to how the trusts can be administered pending the beneficiaries attaining 25 years without applying to the Court for removal of the ex as Trustee (it’s a very modest estate). My client would welcome some funds before 2021.

Lee Penhaligan
Scott-Moncrieff & Associates Ltd

Whilst it might not solve the longer term issue, does the will permit the trustees’ powers to be exercised by the (sole) executor as well as by the trustees? If so, the executor might be able to advance funds to the residuary beneficiary without the need to first appropriate to the trustees.

Longer term, in the absence of the former fiancée voluntarily disclaiming or retiring the route might be to rely upon s.36 Trustee Act 1925 on the basis that she has remained outside of the UK for over 12 months.

Paul Saunders