Trustee failing to act or make contact

Hello friends,

I have a matter where is issue presented is a trustee failing to respond to a request from the sole beneficiary.

The background to this is that a property was purchased by Mr H, and a bare trust was set up where his mother would be the trustee. Mr H therefore is noted as the ‘purchaser’ in the trust document, whilst also being the be settlor and sole beneficiary. The trust allows his mother the right to reside at the property for as long as she so wishes, however, it also stipulates that the property must be transferred to any such person as directed by the ‘purchaser’. Mr H has sent letters asking for this to be done, at his cost, however is receiving no response.

From my initial review of this, I can see some options which may be available to him;

  1. Force the retirement of the trustee under TLATA s.19 and thus wind up the trust.
  2. Under the Saunders v Vautier rule, wind up the trust as Mr H is the sole beneficiary, and there are no exclusions in the trust.
  3. Specific Performance, to order the trustee to act according to the trust
  4. A court order for land reg, asking that the judge sign in place of the trustee on the TR1 enabling the change or legal ownership on file.

From a cost perspective, option 4 seemingly may be the best in order to obtain the desired result. I wish to ask the professionals on this forum of their opinion on this, and in particular, the time/cost elements of each option.

Mark Smith