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Our Case Studies

Family Trust Dispute

Our Contentious Probate Team has agreed settlement terms in a complicated Trust dispute on behalf of our client Mr N.

Mr N purchased a property in 1990 with his wife, Mrs N, although the property was not put in Mrs N’s name. As his income was insufficient for the purpose of the mortgage, Mr D (Mrs N’s brother and Mr N’s brother-in-law) purchased the property with him, although he did not contribute to the purchase price or mortgage payments. However, Mrs N’s mother and father (Mr N’s father-in-law and mother-in-law) did contribute to the purchase price as they paid for the deposit.

When Mr N and his wife sold the property in 2013, Mr D argued that his parents were entitled to a share of the proceeds of sale by reason of them paying for the deposit. He claimed the property was held on trust for the benefit of Mr and Mrs N and his parents. Mr N argued that the deposit payment was a gift and that his parents-in-law did not obtain a beneficial interest in the property.

The claim was settled following a mediation appointment and before expensive Court proceedings were commenced, thereby securing as much of the sale proceeds as possible for Mr and Mrs N. This provided them with much needed financial security following retirement.


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