Q: My mother is a Trustee of her uncle’s Will Trust, in which he left his estate in trust for the benefit of his grandchildren. My mother has not however been well recently and has lost a lot of confidence. As a result she no longer feels she is up to the shouldering the duties and responsibilities of being a Trustee and has asked me if I can take her place. Is it possible for me to replace her as a Trustee and, if so, what do I need to do?
A: If your mother wishes to retire as a Trustee, you should firstly review the Will Trust your uncle set up, to see whether there is any specific clause confirming who has power to appoint the Trustees.
If there is such a power, a Deed can be drawn up for signature by the current Trustees and anybody else authorised under the Will to appoint Trustees, along with yourself as the new Trustee. The Deed will specify that your mother is retiring as a Trustee and that you are being appointed as a Trustee in her place.
If there is no such power of authority to appoint new Trustees within the Will, under the Trustee Act 1925 Section 36 it is possible where a Trustee wishes to be discharged from the Trust that the continuing Trustees and the Retiring Trustee can appoint a new Trustee by Deed.
It would be advisable for you to seek legal advice from a Solicitor regarding the preparation of a Deed of Retirement and Appointment of New Trustees, as using forms drawn down from the internet are very general and may not concur with the specific requirements of your Uncle’s Will Trust.