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 »
Published June 6, 2015
Last week Justice Minister Amy Adams chaired the first meeting of a reference group of trust experts. She’s established this group to help update and improve the law governing private trusts. In 2014 the Government accepted the Law Commission’s recommendation for a new Trusts Act. This reference group will help refine recommendations for the new Act before… Read More »
Published May 18, 2015
Trusteeship often involves what I call ‘courageous conversations.’ These are the sorts of conversations we need to have with people who may not want to hear, or may not be expecting, the message that has to be delivered. Examples for trustees could be having to tell a demanding beneficiary the answer is ‘no’. Another would… Read More »
Published April 23, 2015
Many professional trustees I talk to tell me that they don’t always feel rewarded for the responsibility and risk they take in the role. If you don’t feel rewarded, you’re less likely to put in the effort required. When you don’t put in the effort, the professional trustee role defaults to a reactive process of playing… Read More »
Published April 8, 2015
Trust record keeping continues to be a problem area for many trustees (although many trustees don’t know it). I’ve found trust records can be anywhere. When I’ve needed to review them I’ve often received them in shoe boxes, shopping bags, cardboard boxes and folders. It’s not unusual to find important records missing or lost. Trust… Read More »
Published March 12, 2015
I was reflecting recently on a conversation I had had a couple of years ago with Alasdair McBeth, partner at DLA Piper. I had been interviewing Alasdair for 10 Minute Trustee Success and we had been taking about tough situations trustees can find themselves in. He reckoned one of the toughest was when you’re the ‘last… Read More »
Published February 19, 2015
I think Justice Paul Heath said it best when he addressed an audience of professional trustees earlier last year and said “There’s no upside to being a passive trustee”. He should know because he works at the sharp end of the justice system. Passive trusteeship is the situation professional trustees can find themselves in where… Read More »
Published December 11, 2014
Trustees have decision-making roles. Trustees are expected to make informed, considered decisions in the best interests of their beneficiaries. That’s always important when you’re responsible for other people’s interests and assets. While trustees aren’t expected to be expert in everything or even always get things right, they are expected to be prudent. An example of… Read More »
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