Arbitration of Trust Disputes: Two Bodies of Law Collide
Once considered nothing more than “mere” estate-planning devices, trusts play a large and growing role in the international economy, holding trillions of dollars of assets and generating billions of dollars of income each year. However, the rising popularity of both commercial and noncommercial trusts has led to an explosion in hostile trust litigation, leading settlors and trustees to search for new and less expensive ways to resolve trust-related disputes.
One possible solution involves use of a mandatory arbitration provision in the trust itself. However, the unique, multiparty nature of trust disputes often makes this sort of arbitration highly controversial.
This Article considers the various issues that arise when two separate bodies of law—trust law and arbitration law—collide, using recent developments in the field of international commercial arbitration to address some of the more intransigent problems facing trust arbitration. In so doing, this Article introduces a number of new judicial decisions not previously considered in the scholarly literature and brings a uniquely comparative and international perspective to the debate regarding the jurisprudential propriety of mandatory trust arbitration.