Family Trust structures are commonly employed by business people as a vehicle for running their family businesses. These trust structures work well when the control of the trust is clear. Trust disputes can arise as a result of the contractual and/or legal obligations of trustees under the Trust Deed and/or the Trustees Act to properly deal with trust property.
As a general rule the trust property must be used only for the benefit of the beneficiaries, with Trustees having what is known as a “fiduciary duty”. Often such disputes arise at times when control of the trust is in dispute and/or the matriarch or the patriarch of the family is in declining health or deceased.
Templar Legal can assist in advising parties in relation to the rights and obligations of the trustee, providing common sense (low cost) solutions and/or advising with respect to the rights and obligations of the beneficiaries of the trust.
We can also provide assistance in drafting amendments to family trust deeds to provide succession planning solutions to clients to minimise the potential for future disputes over control of the family trusts.