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Trustee Services in Singapore
Who is a Trustee?
The trustee, according to the legal definition, is the person or entity as appointed by the settlor. A trustee holds the legal title of the trust property and carries out the duties of the trustee. However, the trustee can be the settlor himself – the settlor himself holds the trust property on trust for the beneficiary.
The Roles and Responsibilities of a Trustee
A trustee’s main duty is its fiduciary character – a trustee is legally responsible to manage the trust property and to act solely for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries under an absolute obligation.
In general, a Trustee’s obligations include:
- Must be fully acquainted with the terms of the trust,
- Make sure that the trust property is vested in accordance with the terms of the trust,
- Must never get involved in any transaction with the trust,
- Must not delegate his or her duties,
- Must act impartially in the interest of all beneficiaries, and
- Must be able to manage the trust property professionally
A Snapshot of the Main Duties of a Trustee
- Duty to the terms
A Trustee must have adequate knowledge and understanding of the terms of the trust and is obliged to adhere to the terms of the trust.
- Duty of loyalty
A Trustee has his fiduciary duty towards beneficiaries. As such, a Trustee must administer the trust impartially and solely in the interest of the trust beneficiaries. He must avoid conflict of interest between his own and the beneficiaries. Furthermore, a Trustee must not profit personally from their role but their trusteeship’s fees.
- Duty to manage the trust
A trustee must be very well versed with the terms of the trust that includes the trust’s assets and liabilities, the trust’s purpose and the circumstances of the beneficiaries. Besides, a trustee has a duty to invest wisely on behalf of the trust (which includes knowing how to diversify investment of trust assets in the interest of beneficiaries).
- Duty to act professionally
A professional Trustee must act personally and professionally especially when in decision-making in respect of a trust. Though trustees will usually engage advisers (such as lawyers and financial adviser), they are responsible to make the final decision on trust matters. A trustee can delegate powers to third parties (by power of attorney or deed of delegation) as permitted by the trust deed.
- Duty to act in the interest of beneficiaries
A trustee has to act solely and impartially in the best interest of beneficiaries.
Benefits of a Professional Trustee
While you can appoint any person to be trustee of your will trust, you can also engage the professional trustee to assist with the administration of your trust. Appointing a trust corporation, not an individual at the firm, will give you the peace of mind as it ensures continuity – there will always be a professional trustee available.
Below is the list of benefits of a professional Trustee:
- He makes sure that objective and independent decisions are made with regard to the investment and trust assets’ distribution.
- He could prevent decision made are of the conflict of interest or with emotional complications.
If you are looking for a professional trustee, feel free to talk to us. Our professional trustees (from our associate partners) are always ready to assist you.