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 The prospect of selecting and appointing a Trustee can be a daunting one. Here are some quick links to help you.

The Trustee of a Will holds a number of statutory responsibilities. Below is a summary of the central powers: 

  • Trustee powers of investment - The Trustee Act 2000 permits Trustees to make investments with the assets of the Trust, as if they were their own. This provision is subject to any restriction imposed by the Trust itself.
  • The Trustees are required to act in the best interest of all Beneficiaries. The Trustee/s must judge any investments of the assets of the Trust in terms of how they will impact upon all of the Beneficiaries.
  • Exercise reasonable care and skill - A Trustee must pay regard to any specialist knowledge or experience that he/she holds.
  • Review investments from time to time - The Trustee/s must undertake periodic reviews of the Trust's assets.
  • Take proper advice - When considering any investments, or carrying out a review of the Trusts' assets, the Trustees must obtain and consider appropriate advice.
  • Power to apply income for the benefit of child beneficiaries - The Trustees have the discretion to use the whole or part of a Trust's income for the maintenance, education or benefit of a child beneficiary.
  • Power to delegate - The Trustee Act 2000 legally empowers Trustees to delegate to agents any functions, except those responsibilities specifically defined to them.

Choosing a Trustee in advance ensures that both your financial affairs and personal welfare are in safe hands, if the worst were to happen.

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Trustees - Frequently Asked Questions

  • A Professional Trustee will ensure that all beneficiaries are treated fairly and equally. 
  • A Professional Trustee will ensure that there are no conflicts of interest if Trustees are also named as beneficiaries.
  • A Professional Trustee is wholly unbiased and will uphold the Settlor's wishes.
  • A Professional Trustee will ensure that the beneficiaries' inheritance is protected.
  • A Professional Trustee is qualified to advise on the most efficient tax management of the Estate. 

In summary, the overriding reason to appoint a Professional Trustee is to avoid unforeseen complications that a Non-Professional Trustee may not be qualified to deal with. Thereby ensuring that beneficiaries’ interests are fairly addressed at all times.  

As authors and creators of the Family Trust, Professional Trustees are best placed to make any future amendments necessary to ensure the Trust's maximum efficiency and smooth running.

The Professional Trustee is also the ideal person to optimise tax efficiency for an Estate. 

They are deemed to be the most efficient advisory service in the appointment of Non-Professional Trustees.

Professional Trustees have professional qualifications in such fields as retirement, taxation and Trust Planning.

We recommend you appoint between two and four Trustees. These can range from family members to Professional Trustees to designated organisations. Note that a family member can be both Trustee and beneficiary. 

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To find out more about what appointing a Trustee entails, please call us on 020 3355 2875

Why should I use a Professional Trustee? 

The benefits of a Professional Trustee

Who can I appoint as a Trustee? And how many should I appoint to run my Estate after my death? 

Trustees are often also the beneficiaries of an Estate. When the Settlor passes away, the distribution of assets is discussed by all the designated Trustees. Although it is commonplace and entirely legal for a beneficiary to also be a Trustee, there is a risk of conflict of interest. 

Can beneficiaries be Trustees?

A Trustee has legal obligations. Below are highlighted just some of the many Common Law Responsibilities a Trustee has:

  • A duty to take account of the Settlor's wishes - A Settlor may sometimes write a 'Side Letter' to the Trustees containing an 'Expression of Wishes'. This is not binding upon the Trustees, but would stand alongside the Trust document and provide guidance to the Trustees as to the way in which the Settlor would like them to carry out their duties.
  • Duty to ensure fairness between Beneficiaries- The Trustees must hold the balance fairly between different categories of Beneficiary e.g. if a Trust provides that one class of Beneficiary is to receive the income from the Trust fund during their lifetime and a second class is to receive capital on the death of the income recipient, it would be unfair to the income recipient if the Trustees were to invest in assets which produce little or no income, but offered the prospect of greater than usual capital growth.
  • Duty to take account of Tax considerations - The Trustees must take into account considerations such as Tax and administrative costs when choosing investments.

Further Duties of a Trustee?

The Trustees will record Trustee decisions in the minutes of the Trustee meeting. Trustee discretion is vital in maintaining the protection and efficiency of the Trust. 

It is essential to make any wishes very clear, so the Trustees fully understand the Settlor's intentions.

Appointing a Professional Trustee ensures that the Trust will be managed as professionally and efficiently as possible. 

The importance of Trustee meetings

For a no-obligation conversation about appointing Trustees, setting up or reviewing your Will

Please call us on 020 3355 2875

Please call us on 020 3355 2875 for a conversation about putting your financial affairs into safe hands .

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What is the role of a Trustee? 

At HB Partners, our consultants can advise you on all aspects of Will planning and the process of appointing Trustees

Please call us on 020 3355 2875 for a conversation about putting your financial affairs into safe hands .

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What is the role of a Trustee?

Why should I use a Professional Trustee?

Benefits of a Professional Trustee?

Who can I appoint as a Trustee?

Can beneficiaries be Trustees?

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