Trust Planning & Administration

Trusts need careful planning and administration to achieve their objectives. Trustees must manage the trust efficiently and keep full and proper accounts.

The Trusts Act 2019 imposes mandatory and default duties on Trustees.

The mandatory duties are to:

  • Know the terms of the trust
  • Act in accordance with the terms of the trust
  • Act honestly and in good faith
  • Deal with the trust property and act for the benefit of the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the trust deed
  • Exercise trustee powers for a proper purpose

Trust Documents

The Act requires trustees to keep core trust documents for the lifetime of the trust. Core documents include the trust deed and variations to the deed, details of assets and liabilities, financial statements, records of trustee decisions, contracts, appointment and removal of trustees, letters of wishes by the settlor, and other documents necessary for the administration of the trust.

Disclosure to Beneficiaries

The Act requires trustees to provide beneficiaries with basic information about the trust. Basic trust information includes:

  • The fact a person is a beneficiary
  • Name and contact details of the trustee
  • Details of changes to trustees as they occur
  • The beneficiary’s right to request a copy of the deed or further information.

The Act lists factors the trustees must consider before providing information to beneficiaries and includes a procedure trustees must follow if they reasonably consider that information should not be disclosed.

We recommend that trustees:

  • Open a separate bank account for the trust. Trustees should deposit all trust income into the account and pay all trust expenses and distributions from the account. The account should not be used for personal transactions.
  • Record all investments
  • Meet at least annually, to review the trust investments and the needs of the beneficiaries
  • Record their decisions in writing
  • Prepare annual financial statements

Ask Us about our Trust Risk Review Service which includes

  • Checking that deeds and minutes are up to date and on file
  • Checking that registers recording Trustees, beneficiaries, significant events and gifting programmes are properly maintained
  • Ensuring that the Trustees are undertaking a regular and appropriate review of trust investments and other strategies for the future
  • Checking that your Wills, powers of attorney and Memorandum of Wishes are up to date

We have extensive experience and offer specialist advice on creating and managing your trust.

More about The Trusts Act 2019 – What you need to know

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