In Re Skinner: ChD 1904

A beneficiary of a will trust brought an action for an account, having had little or no accounting from the executors and trustees (one a professional solicitor, entitled to charge) since the testator died more than two years before the action was commenced. The court made a full administration order, and the question whether the executor trustees should pay the costs was reserved.
Held: After further argument, Farwell J held that the plaintiff was entitled to her costs. He said: ‘The gist of the complaints against the defendants . . is that they would not, and did not, render any proper accounts, though repeatedly requested to do so by the plaintiff and by . . their co-executor. Now it is clear that in the case of a small estate like this it is very hard that the plaintiff should be obliged to have recourse to proceedings of this nature in order to get an account. I am always unwilling to make trustees pay costs; but, on the other hand, beneficiaries have a right to expect the performance of their duty by executors, and not the less when one of them has power to make professional charges. In my opinion the conduct of these two defendants amounts to a gross neglect to account. ‘
Farwell J
[1904] 1 Ch 289
Citing:
AppliedHeugh v Scard CA 1875
Sir George Jessel MR said: ‘In certain cases of mere neglect or refusal to furnish accounts, when the neglect is very gross or the refusal wholly indefensible, I reserve to myself the right of making the executor or trustee pay the costs of . .
(1875) 33 LT 659

Cited by:
CitedRoyal National Lifeboat Institution and Others v Headley and Another ChD 28-Jul-2016
Beneficiaries’ right to information from estate
The claimant charities sought payment of interests under the will following the dropping of two life interests. They now requested various documents forming accounts of the estate.
Held: The charities were entitled to some but not to all of . .
[2016] EWHC 1948 (Ch)
CitedBlades v Isaac and Another ChD 21-Mar-2016
Claim by beneficiary under discretionary trust.
Held: A trustee’s wrongful failure to provide information does not necessarily justify an adverse costs order. . .
[2016] EWHC 601 (Ch)

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 December 2020; Ref: scu.567857