Trustee Responsibilities

There are a few important things to know about being a Trustee.

There are a number of obligatory duties imposed upon a person who acts as a trustee.  If a trustee fails to carry out their duties they will be in breach of trust.

A trustee’s main duties are to:

  • find out what property and assets belong in the trust
  • take control of those properties and assets
  • thereafter ensure its preservation

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As a trustee, you must exercise reasonable care and skill when performing your duties.  You can appoint someone else to assist you or act as a custodian, for example, you can engage an independent financial adviser to invest and grow money held in the trust.

A trustee may not profit from their trust.  Unless the terms of the trust allow it, a trustee is not permitted to obtain any indirect or incidental profit or gain by reason of the fact that they are a trustee.

The existence of the rule is an attempt to prevent a trustee from placing themselves in a position where their personal interest and their duty may come into conflict.  To ensure your actions stand up to scrutiny it is important to keep good records of all transactions and decisions made.

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