Trustees of a Trust – What are their Powers and Duties?
There are many different types of trusts which can be established. If you have been appointed as the trustee it is important to know your responsibilities and obligations.
As a trustee, you are required to manage the assets of the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. This includes handling the assets with the same reasonable care, diligence and skill you would use in managing your own affairs.
Some specific duties of a trustee are as follows:
- to carry out the trust in strict compliance with the terms of the trust deed;
- to ensure trust property is vested in your name as trustee;
- to carry out the trust personally and not delegate your duties;
- to keep proper financial records of all trust dealings;
- to keep your personal finances separate from those of the trust; and
- to pay and transfer income to the right beneficiary.
There are also a wide range of powers conferred on a trustee by the Trusts Act 1973 (Qld), such as the power to:
- sell trust property;
- lease trust property;
- invest trust funds;
- mortgage trust property and borrow money;
- repair and improve trust property;
- insure trust property; and
- exchange trust property for that of a similar nature.
Your powers as a trustee may also depend upon the terms of the trust deed.
It is crucial to understand your responsibilities and obligations as a trustee, as the failure to act properly could result in a claim against you by the beneficiaries for any losses sustained.
If you are looking to establish a trust or have been appointed as trustee, we would be happy to help you with any queries or concerns you may have.