Roles, Duties and the Annual Trustee meeting
Being a Trustee
Being asked to be a Trustee indicates that you are respected and trusted for your abilities. It is nice to be asked to act as a Trustee, but before accepting the role you should consider whether you have the time, necessary skill and are willing to take on the responsibility involved.
Trust administration can have high risks associated with it due to the ongoing, long term nature of most Trusts and the personal responsibility of being a Trustee. It is therefore very important to ensure that a Trust is properly managed and that you satisfy your legal duties and responsibilities.
How can you lower Trustee risks?
Holding an Annual Trustee Meeting is an essential discipline to ensure the successful operation of a Trust and avoid an abrogation of your Trustee duties.
Trustee Roles and Responsibilities
The law places certain duties and responsibilities on Trustees, in addition to those contained in the express terms of the Trust document.
- To act in good faith and with honesty and integrity
- To exercise reasonable skill and care in administering the Trust
- To comply with the terms of the Trust document
- To take control of the Trust property and to safeguard that property
- To be impartial as between beneficiaries
- To act exclusively in the best interests of the Trust and avoid any conflict of interest
- To not profit from the Trust
- To invest Trust property
- To act unanimously in all decisions relating to the Trust
- To act personally (although certain limited delegation is permitted)
- To keep proper records and accounts and submit necessary tax returns
- To consult beneficiaries where possible and provide certain information relating to the Trust when requested by beneficiaries
The Annual Trustee Meeting
A simple way to assist in satisfying your Trustee duties is to ensure your attendance at the ATM
- Discuss the Trust objectives, how the Trust is being administered and whether the objectives remain appropriate in the upcoming year
- Review financial statements, understand how Trust funds are being used or held and discuss how well investments are performing
- Identify risks or potential threats to the beneficiaries and the Trust fund
- Sign Trust accounts, the annual tax returns (if required) and make decisions about the future management of the Trust
We'd love to talk to you and offer further advice on becoming a trustee. Please contact the Private Client team on 01274 306000.