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Variation of Trusts and Trustee Disputes

Trustees of trusts set up in wills (testamentary trusts) or trusts that take effect during the settlor’s lifetime (inter vivos trusts) are obligated to administer the trust in accordance with the terms in the trust. In some cases the terms of the trust can be varied, for example where there is agreement to the variation among all parties with an interest in the trust and those parties have the requisite mental capacity and are at least 18 years of age; where The Children’s Lawyer, Public Guardian and Trustee or appropriate substitute decision maker agrees to the variation on behalf of minor, unborn, or mentally incapable beneficiaries of the trust; and where the court orders that the variation shall be made.

In some cases, more than one person or entity is named as the trustee of a trust or an estate. Where those trustees cannot reach agreement regarding the management of the trust, they may seek legal advice about the manner is which the trust is being managed.  Sometimes, this legal advice is sufficient to resolve the disagreement between or among the trustees. In other cases, the trustees may bring an application to the court to ask for the court’s guidance with respect to the specific issues.