Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Can beneficiaries demand the disclosure of trust accounts? Mathew Roper explains

The right of a beneficiary to monitor and protect its interest by obtaining accounts from its trustee is central to the existence of a trust. Accordingly, prior to the Privy Council’s decision in Schmidt v Rosewood Trust Ltd [2003] a beneficiary was thought to have a proprietary right to disclosure of trust accounts or, more accurately the right to obtain inspection and/or the production of copies on demand (see Re Cowin [1886]; O’Rourke v Darbishire [1886]; and Re Londonderry’s Settlement [1965]). If the trustee failed to give effect to that right, the court would order disclosure and normally make the defaulting trustee personally liable for the costs of the proceedings. Indeed, in contrast to the similar proprietary right of a beneficiary to disclosure of trust documents (which was subject to various exceptions formulated in Re Londonderry’s Settlement and later cases), the court spoke of a beneficiary’s right to disclosure of trust accounts in unqualified terms: ‘Every beneficiary is entitled to see the trust accounts, whether his interest is in possession or not’ (per Millett LJ in Armitage v Nurse [1997]).

Sarah Clune summarises new fundraising laws and the Charity Commission’s enhanced powers under the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016

The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 introduces a statutory power for charities to make social investments, provisions on fundraising and also contains a range of new powers for the Charity Commission, including:

Natasha Dzameh clarifies the circumstances in which Beddoe orders and protective cost orders can be used

The role of a trustee can be an arduous and financially precarious one. Trustees are fiduciaries who are subject to a wide range of duties concerning issues such as investment and distribution of the trust property, not profiting from the trust and the keeping of accounts. Breach of trust can occur where a trustee acts without the requisite standard of care, fails to carry out a duty or acts outside the scope of their powers.

Using standard wording for survivorship clauses in mirror wills can lead to errors. Tim Adams and Scott Taylor examine the High Court’s current approach to will-drafting mistakes

The recent case of Jump and Jones v Lister [2016] has highlighted the unexpected issues which may arise from the construction of ‘survivorship clauses’ in mirror wills and provides the latest update on the court’s approach to dealing with construction issues and will-drafting mistakes.

Jo Summers reviews Arbitration of Trust Disputes: Issues in National and International Law

Oxford University Press has produced a new book as part of its international arbitration series.

Geoffrey Shindler considers what the year ahead holds for private client practitioners

In the good old days by this time of the year we were all in a frenzy about what would be unveiled in the Budget. Now for two reasons that frenzy does not come about in February. First, because we are now told that the main Budget for the year is going to be in the autumn and second because so much of what we can expect the Chancellor to deliver has been released either by consultation documents or as the result of consultation documents. There is very little room for surprises.

Emily Deane gives the lowdown on FATCA and CRS

This article will endeavour to provide practical guidance as to what you should be doing for your clients on a daily basis in respect to FATCA or CRS. We have provided three common client scenarios with different types of trustees but in each case the income received in the tax year by the trustees is consistently from quoted securities and bonds and is in excess of 50% of the total income of the trust in each year. The trust scenarios are as follows:

Emma Loveday provides a snapshot of the status of consultations affecting the private client practitioner

Looking back, 2016 has been a year of change for many reasons, and the private client world has been no different with a number of new policy announcements on trust, tax and probate issues, which could potentially have wide-reaching consequences for all of our clients. Consultation after consultation has been published, some with responses, some with responses pending. Below is a summary of where we are with the major policy announcements of 2016.