If you are a trustee of a trust, or you are considering taking on the role of trustee, you need to understand the task you have agreed to undertake, because the responsibilities that come with a trusteeship can be onerous.
A trustee has the obligation to carry through the terms of the trust as laid out in the trust deed, (and where necessary consider an exercise of his trustee powers) and to comply with the numerous and complex tax obligations. Failure to carry out these responsibilities properly can expose the trustee to significant personal liability.
If you are taking on a trusteeship following retirement or death of a trustee it is imperative that you carry out a ‘due diligence’ exercise to satisfy yourself that the trust has been properly managed in the past and you are not inheriting any problems for which you might become accountable.
If the trustees of a trust, exercise their powers under the trust instrument, they will need to ensure they exercise those powers properly, and they are recorded correctly; in order to avoid a claim for ‘trustee breach of trust’.
Our team of trust managers is experienced in advising trustees on all aspects of trusts. We manage hundreds of trusts with varying trust fund sizes and differing trust fund assets. The team works closely with our legal specialists, who advise on the legal and tax implications of setting up, restructuring, and winding up of trusts. We have good links with investment managers to ensure the best management of trust fund assets.
The role of a trustee can bring challenges, but with our expert legal guidance, it can be straightforward.
We can ensure that you comply with trust tax return filing duties and the payment of tax. We can also advise in advance of the exercise of trustee powers and give guidance. We can produce annual trust accounts to ensure a full history record of the trust.
It is often the case that trustee powers are only exercisable in writing and by deed. We can draft the necessary documentation to ensure compliance with the requirements imposed by the trust deed and trust law.