What is a Trustee?

A trustee holds property/assets on behalf of others for their benefit. A trustee can be a corporation or an individual.

A trustee is bound by the duties and obligations contained: (i) in the trust deed; (ii) by the Trustee Act 1925 (NSW) and/ (iii) at law or in equity. A trustee is required to administer the trust property in accordance with the terms of the trust deed or the obligations that arise in particular circumstances (i.e. a person who has been trusted to perform certain obligations on behalf of someone else).

If the trustee is not complying with their duties or obligations it can lead to legal proceedings being commenced.

Duties & Obligations as a Trustee

A trustee has an overarching fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries and in accordance with the terms of the trust deed.

Other duties include:

  • A Duty to Learn and follow the Terms of the Trust;
  • A Duty to Keep Accounts and Provide Information to Beneficiaries;
  • A Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care;
  • A Duty to Personally Administer the Trust;
  • A Duty to act impartially and avoid conflicts of interest;
  • A duty not to make a profit out of the trust;
  • A Duty to Invest

How we can assist

Our trust lawyers can assist trustees to comply with their duties and obligations, including:

  • Identifying the duties and obligations prescribed by the trust deed;
  • Informing of the duties and obligations prescribed by the Trustee Act 1925 (NSW);
  • Obtaining the relevant consents that may be required, such as from an appointer and/or the beneficiaries;
  • Informing of how best to fulfil the duties and obligations required by a trustee;
  • Advise on the nature, benefits and risks associated with being a trustee;
  • Consideration of all potential creditors and debtors in relation to the trust;
  • Consideration and compliance of all potential tax obligations associated with the trust.

Talk to one of our expert lawyers today.