Published April 7, 2016
Trustees have decision making roles. Some decisions won’t always be easy. Decisions can be tough for many reasons. For example: Disharmony between parties associated with the trust The need to balance competing interests The monetary or emotional value associated with a decision The best course of action may not be obvious The complexity of matters… Read More »
Published March 17, 2016
I review a lot of trusts in my work. The starting point for me is always the trust deed. Two things continually surprise me: First up, just how different the terms of each trust deed are, and Secondly, just how many trustees don’t know the terms of their trust deed. There’s a perception in some quarters… Read More »
Published February 25, 2016
Professional trustees tell me one of their biggest challenges is resetting the terms of engagement and bringing wayward co-trustees into line. If you know things haven’t been run as well as they could have been in the past, it can be hard taking the first step to reset expectations and put things on a proper… Read More »
Published December 2, 2015
A trustee recounted their experience in a trust where the charitable trust administration fell short. The trust was operated by a service club and was used for fundraising and making grants to worthy charitable causes and projects in the community. The trust was deregistered because of a simple error – the Annual Return wasn’t filed with Charities Services within 6… Read More »
Published October 28, 2015
If you’re going to stick your neck out and be a trustee, you need to eliminate unnecessary trustee risks. Last week I presented a webinar on reducing trustee risks through good trust practice. The audience was made up of trustees, trust administrators and advisers to trustees. In the webinar I highlighted five key challenges I’m seeing… Read More »
Published October 1, 2015
A common challenge for many professional trustees is managing client resistance with trustee fees. To me that’s a symptom rather than a problem. As I see it, the problem is often historical and results from trustee fees being bundled with fees for other advisory services. In some cases, professional trustee fees have never been charged.… Read More »
Published September 9, 2015
What happens if your co-trustee loses mental capacity? A friend was recently explaining the practical challenges he is facing with one of his parents. He’s a co-trustee with his parents in a family trust and one parent has early signs of dementia. Trustees have decision making roles. That means they have to interpret information, give due… Read More »
Published August 16, 2015
Good trust governance requires trustees to be diligent. The Collins dictionary defines diligence as ‘careful and persevering in carrying out tasks or duties’. Diligence for me is found at the junction of good trustee mindset and good trustee conduct. Trustees with the right mindset know what they’re responsible for, know what’s going on, and give matters at… Read More »
Published July 16, 2015
Professional advisers provide advice to clients. In an advice relationship, decisions are always for the client to make. Clients can choose to accept advice, or ignore it. Often a professional adviser will be asked by their client to take on a professional trustee role. This can make good sense. A trusted adviser will often have… Read More »
Published June 25, 2015
One of the most important decisions a professional trustee will make is whether they’ll take on the job for a particular trust. Recently I’ve seen a number of trustees dealing with problems that may have been avoided if there had been better due diligence and expectations set before they had said ‘yes’ to taking on the job. Here’s another way… Read More »
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