In the case of the Albert Arms and the Dunne / Montgomery family, the trustees of a trust set up by the 1997 Will of Jean Montgomery succeeded in litigation against one of the beneficiaries regarding possession of the trust’s main asset. The case made the legal headlines before a resolution was finally reached between the conflicting beneficiaries, highlighting that “possession is nine-tenths of the law” isn’t always applicable.
Mrs Montgomery left a Surrey pub, The Albert Arms, in trust initially to benefit her husband for his lifetime, then to be shared equally among her three children from a previous marriage – Jonathan, Sarah and Peter. Sarah and Peter wanted to sell it, but Jonathan had been living in the property for over three years without paying rent and refused to leave.
The trustees succeeded in obtaining a court order authorising them to go ahead with enforcement action to obtain possession of the Albert Arms from any persons in occupation (including the son Jonathan) and to sell.
What happened next?
The trustees were ultimately successful in gaining possession of the Albert Arms with Jonathon sent packing. TripAdvisor reviews show that the place is doing very well and is now run by Fuller’s with a combination of pub dining and six-bedroom hotel. No doubt the trustees after gaining possession were able to sell the asset and then pay out the share due to Sarah and Peter as well as Jonathan.
Jonathon may have thought that “possession is nine-tenths of the law” and wished to stay on at the property (totally ignoring the Will), but ultimately justice was served and the three children each receive their rightful inheritance. This goes to show that if one child is ignoring the Will and continuing to live in a property then legal challenge can be pursued to bring the rogue child back in line.
If you need advice on an inheritance dispute, please contact Susan Glenholme.
Please see the link to the original article: Beneficiary failed to vacate property left in trust by mother – Debenhams Ottaway Solicitors
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