Mark died in January 2021, leaving his residuary estate to his sole executrix, Justine, to hold on trust for his children, Danny and Sabrina.
In December 2021, Justine withdrew £10,000 from the estate’s trust account and paid £5,000 each to Mark’s nieces, Marie and Pamela. She did this in the mistaken belief that the terms of Mark’s will gave her the power to make payments to his nieces.
Marie paid her £5,000 into her current account, which already contained £5,000. She has since withdrawn £4,000 from her current account and spent it on a holiday. The current balance of Marie’s current account is £6,000.
Pamela used her £5,000 to contribute towards some expensive structural work that she has recently had done on her house.
In January 2022, Justine withdrew £10,000 from the trust account and paid it into her own account which already contained £10,000. She then withdrew £8,000 and spent it on shares in Gold Bullion Ltd. Next, she withdrew the remaining £12,000 and used it to repay a debt that she owed to her friend, Cuthbert. After these activities, her account was left with a nil balance.
In need of more money, in February 2022, Justine withdrew a further £12,000 from the trust account and paid it into her current account. She then withdrew £12,000 from the Green family trust account, of which she is also a trustee, and paid it into her current account. From this balance of £24,000, Justine withdrew £12,000 and used it to pay for a trip around the world.
Upon her return, Justine won £5,000 in a photography competition. She paid this £5,000 into her current account.
In January 2023, Justine was declared bankrupt. At the date of her bankruptcy order, the balance of her current account was £17,000.
Danny and Sabrina are now aware of the payments to Marie and Pamela, and of the trust money that was misappropriated by Justine and paid into her own current account. The shares in Gold Bullion Ltd are now worth £10,000.