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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7581
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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If a Declaration of trust was drawn up many years ago between

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If a Declaration of trust was drawn up many years ago between 4 parties and one party has lost the original document does this mean that the party in question cannot make a claim.

What does the trust declare and what claim would the party seek to make please?

Is this a declaration of trust made in respect of a property?

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes the declaration is in respect of property. It is between my parents, father deceased and 1 brother and 2 sisters. My mother still resides in the said property and the deed of trust would not be sought until my mothers death or sale of said property. The deed is for 4 equal shares in the property.

Thank You


And what claim by one of the beneficiaries seeking to make?

You say it is for 4 equal shares but you refer to it being between your parents, 1 brother and 2 sisters, which is five people. Can you clarify please?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry, Mother and Father joint, but father deceased, so now mother, son and 2 daughters, mother has changed her will and is stating that her solicitor has said if any of the parties cannot produce the original document than any claim would not be valid. Claim being upon Mothers death.

Thank You

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Sorry, further clarification.

Who is named on the registered title for the property?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Mother as far as I know.


Thanks for your patience.

I assume that the declaration of trust states that the mother, son and two daughters have equal shares in the property at the present time but that the mother has said that this is no longer binding because the Declaration has been lost.

If this is the case then my view is that the fact that the Declaration has been lost does not alter the fact that the trust exists. The Declaration is a declaration of the trust, not the trust itself. The trust can continue to exist despite the Declaration confirming it being lost in my view.

Assuming that you do not each execute a further declaration of trust then your respective shares would not alter.

Your mother can direct to leave her share in the property to another person if she wishes, but she cannot purport to leave the whole of the property to another person because ¾ of it is held on trust for other people.

That is not to say that you might not eat in to the equity of it once she passes away by incurring legal fees to prove the existence of the trust in the absence of the Declaration though. You should attempt to resolve the situation perhaps by executing a further declaration of trust now, if possible.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and 3 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your information. I would just like to clarify one point please. My brother has his original copy of the Declaration of trust but the 2 sisters do not. The declaration clearly states all parties names i.e mother, son 2 daughters. So the 2 sisters will not have a problem due to them not having the original document?