Missing trust deed

I am instructed in circumstances where a trust deed was certainly executed but the original is lost, there are no copies, and no one knows for sure exactly what it said. The instrument was an “Asset Protection Trust” produced in 2013 by an outfit called Synergy Legal Ltd - they have been liquidated via CVL and the administrators say they have no paperwork - no precedents, let alone a copy of our actual deed.

The settlor has lost capacity, the trustees were him and his two children and they know very little about it, the trust assets included (almost certainly were limited to) his home. A Form B Restriction was entered on the title (ie no registration of a disposition without a stat dec or certificate that the disposition is in accordance with the trust) and HMLR aren’t being very helpful. I assume a copy of the deed wasn’t filed there though we’ll be checking.

One can make a pretty good guess about the general lines of the instrument; my working assumption is that it was some kind of variant on a life interest or right to occupy reserved to settlor with remainder, probably, to the children, and that the settlor certainly would not have had care home fees in mind when he entered into it. I’m optimistic we can either get some kind of declaration or at least an order that the restriction be removed because it is impossible to comply with it.

The primary objective is to be able to deal with the property at all. Any general views are of course welcome, but it was suggested to me that the forum may include someone who has actually heard of Synergy Legal or has an idea how we can find out what their standard form “Asset Protection Trust” looked like around 2013, which would make things easier.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Marcus Flavin
Radcliffe Chambers