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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Civil and Commercial - Trusts, Wills, Probate and Inheritance

Summary

A dispute had arisen between the five grandchildren of the Deceased over the future of three properties which were left in trust for them.

Background

The properties were three adjoining terraced houses where tenancies had expired and considerable expenditure was needed in order to re-let them. They had significant capital value but limited rental value until works were carried out.

The beneficiaries were three siblings in one family and two in the other. The income was divided 50/50 between the families but upon the death of the parents, the capital would go to the five grandchildren in equal shares. The two families were no longer on speaking terms.

At the start, the aim of all the beneficiaries was to retain the properties (or most of them) and improve the income by a scheme of repair. However they could not agree as to how to achieve this and at the same time separate the interests of the two families.

Outcome

The two siblings were eventually persuaded to be bought out of the Trust entirely by their three cousins. The price was negotiated at the mediation with a three month completion to allow a mortgage to be put in place.

The families did not meet during the mediation, the mediator acting as go-between. However, once settlement terms were signed, they were brought together to acknowledge the mutual benefits of the settlement and the opportunity to restore their relationship.

Mark Jackson-Stops