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Trustees seem a bit mean?

(21 Posts)
missdisorganised1 Thu 06-Jan-11 08:59:01

Since I was 18 (October last year) I have been living in the family home on my own. I get paid a living allowance by the trustees of Mum and Dads estate but it isn't enough. I don't even have enough money to go out with my friends more than once a month and my life seems to be school work, housework and not much else.

I get control of half the capital at 21 and the rest at 25.

marlowwills Thu 06-Jan-11 11:24:08

You can, technically, make an application to the court to receive an increase in your living allowance but the court won't automatically grant your application, it depends on many factors.

Can't you get a part time job? My ds is 16 and earns his going out money by babysitting. Gets about £80 a month from that plus £70 pocket money.

legaleagle2 Thu 06-Jan-11 11:58:46

You mention trustees - so I am assuming that both your parents are deceased? Rather than just money are you also getting enough emotional support?

I know from my own children that there is lots of work to do in the sixth form and with all due respect to marlowwills I don't consider that her ds should be seen as a precedent for your situation.

marlowwills Thu 06-Jan-11 12:27:55

Probably the best thing to do initially is to write to the trustees (are they professionals, ie solicitors or bank?) setting out your outgoings including one offs like Christmas and birthday presents as well as regular outgoings such as hairdressing, clothes, makeup, socialising, and then provide a monthly figure. Assuming that that is more than you're currently receiving, ask them for the shortfall to be released each month in the same way that your receive your current allowance.

The trustees' duties are, in fact, purely financial. They must invest and deal with your late parents' estate in accordance with the Society of Trustees and Estate Practioners' Rules, but sadly have no responsibility to support you emotionally.

I hope that the trustees are in fact family or friends who may also give you other support in additional to their duties as trustees.

LaurieFairyonthetreeEatsCake Thu 06-Jan-11 12:32:25

Could you post your budget and then mumsnetters can help with getting your costs down and helping you shop around for cheaper deals?

Also do have proper insurance on the house etc?

I very much hope that doesn't come across as patronising as I had no idea how to run a home at 18.

PinkElephantsOnParade Thu 06-Jan-11 19:54:47

marlow - the OP has a full week at school, plus homework then has to run a home with no help. How exactly is she supposed to fit in an evening/ weekend job in around all that.

Your DS (I presume) is not living on his own so has time for a part time job because he has you (plus your DP) to do the running of his home.

If you genuinely don't have enough to live on talk to the trustees. They are resposible for ensuring you are provided for financially. In your position I would say you can easily justify needing help with cleaning.

cestlavielife Fri 07-Jan-11 08:51:45

find out costs of housekeeper / cleaner locally and ask for money to pay that at least.

missdisorganised1 Tue 28-Jun-11 08:35:06

I finished my last A2 exam yesterday so if I get the grades I will be off to Uni in October. The Trustees are coming to see me later today to discuss money. Are there any on-line places I can look up the legal aspects of Trusts? I know the Trustees mean well but the whole thing was just dropped on them when Mum and Dad got killed. I don't know if any of us really know what is normal or best or what can be changed. Getting the first lump sum at 21 isn't much use to me if by then poverty has reduced my chances at uni!

I hope I don't come across as mean or unreasonable or disrespectful to Mum and Dad but I really need impartial advice.

mumblechum1 Tue 28-Jun-11 11:24:49

Are you the only beneficiary of the trust?

The Trustees' duties are to look after your interests. If they are not giving you an adequate allowance out of what is, ultimately, your money, then they're not doing their duty to you.

I suggest that you work out a budget to include absolutely everything, then deduct whatever you'll get from your student loans, and ask for the balance.

It may be that the Trustees are worried that there will be nothing in the trust by the time you've graduated, but on the assumption that you're the only beneficiary, they need to understand that it's perfectly reasonable to release funds for educational purposes.

Are they professional trustees, eg a bank or solicitors firm?
If so, then they should know all that. If friends/family they may not realise that their duty is to you and any other beneficiaries. If withholding money means that you can't afford to graduate, then you could make an application to court. I don't think that will be necessary but it may help to get a solicitor on board towrite to them.

springlamb Tue 28-Jun-11 12:54:20

I am sorry for your loss, and glad you are continuing with your studies. I am a Trustee for my DS's fund, although it was set up for very different reasons to yours. He is a little younger than you.
How many Trustees do you have? Are they all professionals? Your Trustees of course must be headed up by a solicitor, but do you have an older relative/friend of your parents who could also join them with a more personal view of your life. You should also be present at their meetings - DS's solicitor insisted on this from the age of 14, he always attends and I always ensure he gets the opportunity to discuss his wants/wishes/plans (even if they don't always coincide with mine).
The purpose of the Trust is to ensure that all your needs are taken care of and that you don't suffer hardship as a result of the dreadful loss you've already experienced.
One of our aims with DS's trust is that he lives life at the same sort of living standard that he would have experienced if he didn't have the Trust so whilst he has a £200 personal allowance each month and can ask for one-off payments such as a holiday, he doesn't drive round in a Ferrari. I think your parents would have wanted you to have a living standard equivalent to what they would have provided, so certainly some tinkering seems necessary.

missdisorganised1 Tue 28-Jun-11 15:51:10

I was the only beneficiary. When Mum and Dad died I inherited the house and a small cash sum. All their other assets, including two lots of life insurance, went into a trust. An aunt, an uncle and a solicitor who went to school with Dad, are the Trustees. I will get half the money at 21 and the rest at 25.

I get on fine with my aunt, OK with my uncle and hardly see the solicitor.

The house is mine so if I want I could sell it. But the trustees say the housing market is very depressed and selling would takes ages and I wouldn’t get a good price. Leave it for a few years is their advice.

What seems strange is that they all assumed that I would rent the whole house out while I was away at Uni (if I get there) without thinking where I would might like to live in the holidays. It seems they think Nan and Granddad’s would be the “obvious and best place to live”.

I don’t know what I want to do. It all seems so overwhelming at the moment!

springlamb Tue 28-Jun-11 18:34:55

You do sound totally overwhelmed with all this and I'm not surprised. You sound like you could do with an 'advocate' of some sort, who is a little detached from the situation. Is there a teacher at school you could talk to (before you lose those contacts), or the parent of a friend? A local youth counselling service? I realise your problems are very different to those most 18-yr-olds will have, but I do think you could do with it.
How do you cope with running the house? I'm 44 and still struggle! How would you look after it during term time? If it was your family home and of sentimental value to you, then it seems sensible to hold onto it. And if you don't want to rent it out then no-one can force you. However, the trustees are quite right about the housing market, and perhaps they thought the rental income would provide for your needs whilst you're at uni?
Did you manage to negotiate a decent allowance? And are you claiming any DWP allowances you may be entitled to? You could check this out at the citizen's advice, or job centre. You're certainly entitled to council tax benefit, at least till you go to uni.
I feel very sad that the arrangements made to look after you by your parents are causing you stress, that's not what they intended. But perhaps your Trustees are not altogether sure of their roles either, they probably signed up believing they would never be called upon. I think there is a booklet produced by the Law Society about being a Trustee, I will see if I can find it and PM you, it might be useful even just for yourself.
In the meantime, take care of yourself.

MoreBeta Tue 28-Jun-11 18:40:53

missdisorganised1 - I am a trustee and run several trusts like the one you are beneficiary of.

The trustees of your parents estate may well be paying you all the income that there is from the trust they created. The trustees are not allowed to pay out the capital and after fees and tax the income may be very small because interest rates are very low at the moment.

What I am saying is that they may not be being mean at all but you need to check their fees are reasonable and not gouging half the income.

missdisorganised1 Wed 29-Jun-11 14:59:58

Thank you for helping me. If the Trustees are telling me that the value of the trust has grown then I thought that it meant that there must be some more money to give to me. It seems to cost a lot to run and maintain the house and once I have got food and a bit for clothes there isn't much left. I don't think Mum and Dad would have meant for me to have such a boring life when there is money available. If we all agreed couldn't something be done?

MoreBeta Wed 29-Jun-11 15:25:58

Unfortunately, the trust your parents created was quite specific about income and capital. Like the trusts created for my children, if me and my wife die then we don't want our children to have a large amount of capital at a young age but only when they are mature enough to manage it and use it wisely. Actually 21 is quite a young age to get access to any capital.

I see you could rent out the house or sell it. I really think you have to consider those options if you are desperate for cash to live on.

cat64 Wed 29-Jun-11 15:36:06

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missdisorganised1 Sat 02-Jul-11 09:04:11

Based on talking to the trustees (and to people here) I think I have decided what to do. If I get the grades to go to uni I will rent out the family house and live in the halls of residence during term time and live with my Nan and Grandad during the holidays. I don't think I will be able to manage financially unless I do this.

Before I do this I must do a job I have been dreading. That is sorting out and giving away Mum and Dads clothes and their possessions and also sorting out a proper stone for the cemetery. You have to leave it 12 months or more after the funeral. I cannot believe how expensive grave stones are!

3littlefrogs Sat 02-Jul-11 09:21:39

I think your plan is a good one.

Please don't try to do all the sorting out on your own. Can you arrange for at least one friend or relative to come and help you to do a bit at a time? It is a very hard thing to do alone.

I am sure your relatives will want to help.

3littlefrogs Sat 02-Jul-11 09:26:28

Most students end up sharing a house in the second and third year, so are paying rent for the whole year. You will probably find that you will spend longer in the student house, because your socila life will be based around Uni. My Dss certainly found this. So once you get into year 2, you will be coming back to your grandparents for a shorter time.

If you can find a pay letting agent to take care of your family home, you will make less money from it, but have more peace of mind, as the letting agents will take responsibility for collecting rents, doing repairs etc.

jenniec79 Sat 02-Jul-11 09:40:47

What if you rented to mature/postured students? You could then let by the room, most would leave over the summer and. You could keep one room locked for your own use in your hols? I wouldn't rent the family home to undergrads straight from school though (having been one)

cat64 Sun 03-Jul-11 22:34:57

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