When a trust is created and trustees appointed, there are a number of trustee powers and duties which apply. If there is more than one trustee, these same powers and duties apply to all of them equally.

In basic terms, a private trust will have been set up for a specific reason, for example – safeguarding property for the future benefit of a child or for estate planning purposes and mitigation of inheritance tax. The duty of the trustees is to make sure that all procedures related to this property are carried out promptly and appropriately. The fiduciary duty of a trustee is to attend to trust issues with the same care and attention that he would apply to his own business affairs.

Oratto member solicitors are experienced in the legal ramifications of setting up a trust and will be able to explain the details of trustee powers and duties in a clear, straightforward manner.

What are the powers and duties of a trustee?

As an overview, trustees must behave with reasonable care and skill; honestly and impartially and in the best interests of the beneficiary or beneficiaries at all times. A board of trustees must also always act unanimously. If they do not, then the trustees can be found to have breached the terms of the trust.

Trustees also have the power to delegate and appoint; providing that:

  • they are acting within the terms of the trust
  • they are behaving in the same way that they would towards their own business interests

Trustee powers and duties differ within the same framework, depending on what the individual trust is for. That's why it's important to seek legal advice for your specific situation.

Contact Oratto today to be connected with a lawyer who is highly experienced in trust management.