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LegalComplianceTax & AccountingJune 26, 2024

Guide to Trustee Duties and Acting as a Trustee

Accepting appointment as a trustee is a serious undertaking. Acting as a trustee can be empowering through the ability to shape the management and control of trust assets for benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries or purposes. For professional trustees, appointment as a trustee can also be fiscally rewarding. Good trustees can leave a lasting legacy that can benefit future generations.

However, the rewards of trusteeship must be managed against the responsibilities. Trustees are subject to mandatory and default duties that apply unless modified or excluded by the terms of the trust. Knowing and understanding the mandatory and default duties that apply to any appointment as a trustee is an essential responsibility for any trustee.

In this guide, the following topics are considered:

  • What does it mean to be a trustee?
  • Mandatory duties
  • Record keeping
  • Disclosure
  • Proper decision making
  • Professional and independent trustees
  • Corporate trustees
  • Exercise of discretion
  • Practical considerations
  • Reasons for decisions
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