Solicitors in Essex & London
In cases where the legal ownership of property does not reflect the beneficial ownership, meaning that a person who is not the legal owner has a claim in respect of property, issues relating to trusts and proprietary estoppel can arise. Our Wills claim solicitors in Essex and London have many years of experience in dealing with claims relating to this complex area of litigation.
Property can include land, buildings, shares, investments and savings. Claims can be brought on behalf of the estate regarding property that should form part of the estate as a result of a resulting or constructive trust or proprietary estoppel.
The other side to this is a claim by a party that they have an interest in property which has been left by Will arising from a resulting or constructive trust or proprietary estoppel.
The claims may arise as a result of direct financial contributions made to the purchase price, deposit or mortgage repayments of a property (resulting trust); contributions to the purchase price and mortgage instalments or refurbishments to a property on the basis of an agreement, understanding or intention that the person would have an interest in the property (constructive trust); or a person acting to their detriment in reliance on a promise that they would have an interest in the property (proprietary estoppel).
In the case of a resulting trust, unless there is evidence that some other result was intended, the person who made the contribution is entitled to a beneficial interest in the property proportionate to the amounts contributed.
With regard to constructive trust claims, the court will firstly need to determine that there was some agreement, arrangement or understanding reached between the parties that the property was to be shared beneficially which must be based on evidence of express discussions between the parties, and secondly that the party claiming an interest has acted to their detriment in some way in reliance on the agreement. Where there is no evidence of an agreement, the court will look at the conduct of the parties to establish whether a common intention can be inferred.
Proprietary estoppel claims would be made where there has been a representation or assurance made, reliance thereon and detriment in consequence of the reliance.
If you would like further legal advice on making a claim relating to a trust, estate and/or property, please contact our Wills claim experts for a free initial consultation - call to make an appointment at one of our offices located across Essex and London.*
*Free appointments are only available at our main offices in Upminster, Brentwood and Hornchurch and are not available in cases where proceedings have been issued.