The Honest Trustee

One of the “irreducible core duties” of a Trustee is to act honestly and in good faith towards the cestuis que trust (members and beneficiaries).

If an honest Trustee were to become the trustee of the occupational pension fund established on the 23 December 1913 then one would expect that Trustee to act as follows so as to ensure the welfare of the members and beneficiaries:

  • Become acquainted with the terms of the trust
  • Get in the Trust Estate and commence legal proceedings against previous Trustees who had committed a Breach of Trust causing a loss to the Trust Estate
  • Seek advice and directions from the Court as to how to properly construe the terms of the trust, including who is entitled to receive a benefit
  • Advise all the cestuis que trust of their entitlements under the trust
  • Pay the correct benefits to the correct beneficiaries
 

Become Acquainted with the Terms of the Trust

It is the trustee’s plainest duty to obey the terms of the trust. In the case of a superannuation trust, the trustee must obey the original trust Deed as lawfully amended.

More information on this duty can be found here.

Get in the Trust Estate

More information on this duty can be found here.

Seek Advice and Directions from the Court

More information on this duty can be found here.

Advise of Entitlements under the Trust

More information on this duty can be found here.

Pay Correct Benefits

It is a fundamental duty for a trustee to pay the correct benefits to the correct beneficiaries and to seek advice and directions from the Court if in any doubt as to how to fulfil this duty.
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