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Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority:
Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 CPD point (60 minutes)
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Regulated by the Bar Standards Board:
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Regulated by ILEX:
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  • FREE
30 minutes of audio
(+ optional 5 minute online quiz)
Plays on Computer:
Yes Downloadable as MP3:    Yes
Course Aims:

This podcast aims to discuss what a trustee has a duty to disclose to a beneficiary, the extent of the beneficiary’s right to information, and whether the trustee has any discretion in the matter. It will examine some of the different categories of documents of which disclosure may be sought including letters of wishes. The podcast will also examine how to make a request for information, what factors a trustee has to consider when providing information to a beneficiary who is also in litigation and what information or documents (if any) the trustees can safely withhold from the beneficiaries.

After completing the course you will:
  • Understand the historic position with respect to a beneficiary’s right to obtain documents and information about a trust;
  • Understand the nature of trustee’s discretion when allowing the beneficiary access to documents;
  • Understand the nature of a beneficiaries ‘right’ to see the trust deed, accounts and company documents;
  • Understand the function and nature of a letter of wishes and whether such a document can be demanded by beneficiaries;
  • Be aware of the options available to a trustee when considering disclosure;
  • Understand the reforms to the law made by the cases of Schmidt v Rosewood (2003) and Breakspear v Ackland (2008).
Complex Difficulty: 4 of 5
Legal Principles
Sources and References:
  • Chaine-Nickson v Bank of Ireland (1976) IR 393;
  • Schmidt v Rosewood [2003] 2 AC 709;
  • Re Londonderry's Settlement [1964] 3 All ER 855;
  • West v Lazard Brothers [No 1] [1987-88] JLR 414;
  • Breakspear and others v Ackland and others [2008] EWHC 220 (Ch);
  • Hartigan Nominees Property Limited v Rydge (1992) 29 NSWLR 405;
  • Re Rabaiotti's Settlements [2000] WTLR 953;
  • Foreman v Kingstone [2005] WTLR 823;
  • Butt v Kelson [1952] Ch 197 CA.

This podcast is about the rights of beneficiaries, specifically the right of a beneficiary to obtain information and documents relating to the trust of which is he an object. It will review the succession of cases that have shaped the rules in this area which can inform trustees and their advisors how to manage a request for information.

Podcast added: 02/02/11

Podcast last reviewed: 2011-08-30

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