Trustee directions applications: what is the function of the court?

The Royal Court of Jersey recently faced a trustee’s application seeking the court’s blessing of its refusal to disclose trust information to a former beneficiary.

On the facts, the case was straightforward: documents were not being sought in order for the former beneficiary to hold the trustee to account but to support proceedings that might have involved an attack on the trust assets, and the court agreed that it was not in the interests of the beneficiaries as a whole that the disclosure be given.

However, the question arose as to the function of the court in such an application; was it for the court to exercise its own discretion? Or was the court’s role limited to reviewing the proposed exercise of the trustee’s discretion? …

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