Six mandatory and eleven default duties of trustees will be imposed which will apply unless the terms of the trust indicate otherwise. This is essentially formalizing what was developed through case law.
Mandatory Trustee Duties would be:
- To be familiar with the terms of the Trust;
- To act in accordance with the terms of the Trust;
- To act honestly and in good faith;
- To act for the benefit of the beneficiaries or to further the purpose of the trust, in accordance with the terms of the Trust;
- To exercise stewardship over the Trust property for the beneficiaries or the purpose of the trust;
- To exercise power for a proper purpose.
Default (applicable to all trusts) Trustee Duties would be:
- The duty to maintain impartiality or evenhandedness between beneficiaries;
- The duty not to make profit from the trusteeship;
- The duty to act without reward;
- The duty to avoid a conflict of interest;
- The duty to be active (meaning the duty to consider the exercise of the trustees’ discretions regularly and not to fetter these discretions);
- The duty to act personally;
- The duty to act unanimously;
- The duty to manage the trust;
- The duty to invest;
- The duty to keep trust property separate from the trustee’s own property;
- The duty to keep and render accounts, and to provide information to beneficiaries; and
- The duty to transfer property only to beneficiaries or persons legally authorised to receive property.