Forums / Getting Technical / Legal & Accounting / How do you look up the trustee for a trust?

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  • Profile photo of pschefferpscheffer
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    @pscheffer
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 4

    There was a good discussion here on suing the trustee of a trust – https://www.propertyinvesting.com/forums/getting-technical/legal-accounting/19601

    My question is – how would someone lookup the trustee of a trust to sue them?

    and then – if the trustee was a corporate trustee, what's to stop the trustee from claiming bankruptcy and having the appointer appoint a new trustee?

    Any help appreciated,
    Peter.

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
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    @terryw
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 16,110

    Hi

    The trustee is the legal owner of property. So if you can indenfity the property (not just land) you may be able to find the trustee. If the trustee owns real property you can do a title search and find it that way. If the trust owns a business then the trading name will be the trustee or if they have a registered trading name you may be able to find the trustee's name on documents such as invoices etc. Once you find the name then you can do titles searches on the name and find if there are other properties etc.

    A corporate trustee usually owns no assets of their own – just the assets of the trust on behalf of the beneficaries. If you are suing the trustee in capacity as trustee then you may be able to sue the new trustee as well as the old one, or in place of the old one. The trustee is usually indemnified out of the trusts assets so it is like you are suing the trust – but a trust is not a legal entity and cannot be sued directly so you need to go after the trustee.

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    http://propertytaxbook.com.au/
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    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Aust wide) http://propertytaxbook.com.au/

    Profile photo of pschefferpscheffer
    Participant
    @pscheffer
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 4

    Thankyou Terry, I appreciate your knowledge and answers.

    This sounds like a legal quagmire.

    Can anyone point me to any precedents in Australian court where something like litigation against a trustee over property held in the trust has occurred?  I would like to go through a real world scenario to make better sense of it.

    Peter.

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
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    @terryw
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    Trustees are sued all the time.

    I just did a search on austlii and found this one

    Green & Ors v Wilden Pty Ltd & Ors [2005] WASC 83

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/wa/WASC/2005/83.html?query=^trustee

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    http://propertytaxbook.com.au/
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Aust wide) http://propertytaxbook.com.au/

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
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    @terryw
    Join Date: 2001
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    If you are suing a company in its own capacity or a trustee and you are worried about it having funds you can always seek a court order for security of costs. see s 1335(1) of the Corporations Act 2001
    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ca2001172/s1335.html

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    http://propertytaxbook.com.au/
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Aust wide) http://propertytaxbook.com.au/

    Profile photo of pschefferpscheffer
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    @pscheffer
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 4

    That's great, Terry.  Thankyou kindly.

    Profile photo of pschefferpscheffer
    Participant
    @pscheffer
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 4

    This appears to be a more recent, shorter case where the assets of a trust have been suggested to be the security for the costs.

    I can't tell what the outcome was.  It appears that the court couldn't determine "whether the plaintiff owns them in its own right or whether it owns them as trustee" after a search of Landgate.  I wonder why they couldn't tell the difference?

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/wa/WASC/2009/282.html

    Can anyone interpret this for me?  It seems very relevant to this discussion.  If someone could briefly explain whether the assets were decided to be used as security by the court because of the plaintiff being a trustee of the trust.

    Kind regards,
    Peter.

    Profile photo of MASUDMASUD
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    @mehadi
    Join Date: 2019
    Post Count: 0

    One partnership made by two trustee of two family trust. They made agreement with me. Partnership owe some money to me. I want to sue them. But problem is I cannot find out trustee names. My question is how can i find out trustee name? Or can I just sue them according to the partnership name on ABR ” The trustee of …… family trust & Trustee of ……family trust”(That is partnership name)? They have Business name registered. Any advice will be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
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    @terryw
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    How did you contract with them?

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    http://propertytaxbook.com.au/
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Aust wide) http://propertytaxbook.com.au/

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