Trustees are responsible for administering the trust and the legal owners of any assets belonging to it. They have a duty to manage assets in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

The “settlor” of a trust – the person who sets it up and funds it – can be a trustee, although a beneficiary cannot. The legal duties and powers of trustees include:

A The duty to act in accordance with the rules of the trust;

B A duty of care to the trust’s beneficiaries;

C The power to make investments for the benefit of the beneficiaries;

D The duty to review investments regularly and take expert advice, if the trustees do not have it themselves, on how best to manage them;

E The duty to make payments from the trust and to pass the assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with the trust or sometimes instructions left in a separate letter of wishes.

Appointing a trustee

A trust may be established during an individual’s lifetime, or upon death by their will. If the trust is created according to a will then in most cases the executors will also be the trustees.

The ideal trustee should:

A Be trustworthy and honest;

B  Have some experience with financial matters;

C Have the beneficiary’s best interests at heart;

D Be younger than you for the obvious reason.

If you have any problem with a trust, Hylton-Potts are experts and have 24 hour email advice service at law@ or office hours telephone helpline on 020 731 8111.

Both are free and confidential and the advice is expert and no nonsense.