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What are the Duties of Trustees?

Posted on 09th May 2023 in Probate & Wills

Posted by

Graeme Manfield

Trusts Officer
What are the Duties of Trustees?

When creating a trust, trustees are appointed to manage the trust and the assets that have been settled in line with the provisions of the trust and the instructions given by the person who established the trust in the first place.

What does being a trustee involve?

Trustees have a ‘fiduciary’ duty of care and should abide by any specific instructions contained in the trust deed as well as general duties of care, honesty, integrity and good faith placed on them.

Specifically, but amongst other duties, trustees are required to:

  • Act impartially between all beneficiaries
  • To observe and follow the terms of the trust either as set out in the trust deed, common law or from relevant legislation.
  • To act unanimously (unless the trust deed provides otherwise)
  • To protect the assets of the trust
  • Provide certain information to beneficiaries when requested to do so

The appointment of an appropriate and suitable trustee needs careful consideration. The role of a trustee can be complicated and accepting the role of a trustee should not be taken lightly and any new trustee should be fully aware of the terms of the trust, the administrative powers, their expected duty of care and any tax reporting requirements before accepting the role.

Trustees can of course appoint a professional advisor to manage the trust on a day to day basis on behalf of the trustees to alleviate the burden while continuing in the role of trustee.

Support from our Trusts Officer

Our dedicated Trusts Officer can also offer the level of support that you need: whether that’s giving advice on one or two issues, or if you would like us to assume responsibility for running the trust as a whole. As your legal partners, we’d be delighted to walk you through the process of the administration of a family trust.

We can help you with:

  • the administration of family trusts
  • trustees’ powers and duties
  • trust tax regimes
  • trust tax returns

Find out more

To find out more or to get help with registering or administering a trust, please contact our specialist wealth management team, who will be happy to help.

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