Articles on: Trusts

What is a trustee?

A trustee is an individual or entity designated to oversee a trust's administration.

The responsibilities of a trustee include managing the trust's assets, making investment decisions, and ensuring that the trust's objectives are met. A trustee's main responsibility is trust administration which requires attention to detail, financial knowledge, and a commitment to fulfilling the intentions of the trust creator.

Common types of trustees

Individual trusteesThese are individuals appointed to act as trustees. They could be family members, friends, or individuals chosen for their integrity and competence.
Corporate trusteesCorporate trustees are entities, often financial institutions or trust companies, that specialise in trust management. They bring professional expertise and stability to the role.
Professional trusteesProfessional trustees are individuals with specific expertise relevant to the trust, such as legal, financial, or accounting professionals. They may be appointed for their specialised knowledge.
Co-trusteesCo-trustees are multiple trustees, either individuals or entities, who collectively manage the trust. Co-trustees may be appointed simultaneously, sharing the responsibilities outlined in the trust deed.
Independent trusteesIndependent trustees are individuals who are not closely related to the beneficiaries or the trust's creator (settlor). They are appointed to bring objectivity and impartiality to the decision-making process.
Family trusteesFamily trustees are individuals who are also beneficiaries of the trust. While this can create a close connection between the trustees and beneficiaries, potential conflicts of interest need to be managed carefully.
Special purpose trusteesSpecial purpose trustees may be appointed for trusts with specific goals or charitable purposes. These trustees possess expertise or qualifications relevant to the trust's unique objectives.
Discretionary trusteesIn trusts with discretionary distribution powers, the trustee has the discretion to decide when and how much to distribute to beneficiaries, based on the criteria outlined in the trust document.

Updated on: 08/04/2024

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