Trusts: Family Trust Essay

Submitted By pickwick333
Words: 1674
Pages: 7

MEMORANDUM OF ADVICE TO JACQUES FOURNIER

Re: Meeting of all Fournier siblings concerning the distribution of the estate of their father Serge Fournier.

1.0 Identification of Conflicts

Christopher Moore identifies five categories of conflict to which he refers as the Circle of Conflict1. These are; data conflicts, interest conflicts, relationship conflicts, value conflicts and structural conflicts.

1.1 Data Conflicts

Data conflicts are those perpetuated by an absence of accurate information, or a reliance on inaccurate information. It is common in such conflicts for opposing parties to hold countering views, interpretations and make varying assessments of the information, its value and relevance.

Data conflicts include;

· Matthieu and Anouk are both claiming the billiard table. Anouk regularly plays competitive billiards whilst Matthieu has previously played competitively.

1.2 Interest Conflicts

Interest conflicts are those ensued by perceived or actual competition between parties as a result of their conflicting substantive, procedural or psychological interests.2 The Fournier siblings are claiming assets due to either sentimental connection or a belief of entitlement

Interest conflicts include:

· Matthieu and Anouk believe their interest in the billiard table should be acknowledged on account of Anouk currently playing and Matthieu’s past as a billiard champion.

· Jacques, Anouk and Isabelle are claiming entitlements to the champagne flutes, with each having a different psychological interest

· Isabelle, Anouk and Jacques believe they are entitled to the antique painting, vesting both psychological interest, as the last item of property from its generation and substantive interest in it as a valuable piece.

· All parties have substantive, procedural and psychological interests in the family wealth and the use of it, as once Odette passes, it will be left to them.

1.3 Relationship Conflicts

Relationship conflicts are common in family situations and tend to induce strong emotions, misconceptions, poor communication and negative behaviour.3

It is evident that all siblings feel Anouk has overborne Odette. They believe they will lose their inheritance against Serge’s wishes to benefit all his children causing significant tension. Furthermore, Anouk may have influenced Odette in discontinuing their regular income from the family trust fund.

1.4 Value Conflicts

Value conflicts occur when there are a diverse assessment criteria of ideas and behaviour, the goals exclusive to each party and the influences of individual ways of life, ideology and religion.

Value conflicts are:

· All siblings lead diverse lifestyles and careers due to a good work ethic and the value of money being encouraged as children. Jacques, Matthieu and Isabelle therefore feel that it is unfair for a greater share of the family wealth to go to Anouk. However, as Anouk is the only child who has taken on the responsibility of the patisseries following her father’s death assisting in its expansion and aiding Odette through ill health, Anouk likely feels she has recognised the value of money and has earned it.

The control of future assets is of concern as Anouk will remain at the family home with significant input into the family business. Whilst the other siblings seem concerned for their share of the estate, it is unlikely that they will sacrifice their own lifestyles for it.

1.5 Structural Conflicts

Structural conflicts are the result of unequal control, ownership or distribution of resources. They are facilitated by the unequal power and authority of parties and involve geographical location, physical and environmental factors and time constraints that impede the cooperation of parties.4

Structural conflicts include:

· The distance of Jacques, Matthieu and Isabelle from the home…