A Trustee’s duties include:
- Efficient Management – the requirement to regularly take stock of trust assets and liabilities, setting up structures for the administration and management of the trust and keeping abreast of trust issues.
- Keeping full and candid accounts – keeping appropriate and adequate accounting records and preparing financial statements in respect of appropriate accounting periods. Trust accounts kept must be proper, faithful and accurate.
- Objectivity / Impartiality – acting in the best interests of all the beneficiaries, present and future. Trustees must act impartially in their decision making and at all times protect the interests of the beneficiaries.
- The duty to consider – considering whether or not and in which ways trustees should exercise their powers and discretions having regard to the terms of the trust and the interests of the beneficiaries.
A trustee must take all precautions which would normally be taken by an ordinary prudent person managing the affairs of others.
In addition to these requirements, if a trustee is a professional person (such as a lawyer or an accountant), when investing trust funds, for example, a professional trustee must exercise the care, diligence and skill that a prudent person engaged in his or her line of business would exercise in managing the affairs of others.