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“Animosity and difference of opinion are not sufficient to have a trustee removed from office and/or for the majority of trustees to unilaterally force another to vacate his/her office…” (Extract from judgment below)
When family infighting impacts a family trust, an early casualty is often the relationship between the appointed trustees and beneficiaries, and/or between the trustees themselves.
And if that results in irreconcilable differences and conflict between the trustees, the only answer may be for one or more of the trustees to be replaced. First prize of course will always be to achieve this with a voluntary resignation – but what happens if a trustee refuses to resign? Can the majority forcibly remove him/her?
A recent High Court decision dealt with just that question.
3 professionals v the beneficiary’s mother
Ambiguity, showing good cause, and ubuntu
The Court’s reasons for its decision contain some important principles that anyone involved in a trust would do well to take note of (with some thoughts on how to deal with each issue in brackets) –