A recent review of the Trustee Act is set to place an additional focus on the duties of trustees. For trusts on which Gallaway Cook Allan acts as an independent trust, our new annual administration process is well placed to address these upcoming legislative changes.
The annual administration process involves having an annual meeting of trustees to discuss various aspects of the trust, including whether the trust is fit for purpose; gifting; repayment of trust debt; a review of the Financial Statements for the trust; potential relationship property issues; a review of trust assets; the circumstances of the beneficiaries; succession of trustees; updating Wills and Memorandum of Wishes and more. An Annual Minute is drafted to record the discussions at this meeting and all trustees are informed and consulted appropriately regarding any transactions in which the trustees are likely to be a party and also in relation to compliance generally. This process has been really useful in terms of touching base with our clients so as to advise on outstanding issues and any questions they may have in regards to their trust.
Annual administration provides added assurance that all Trustee duties continue to be met so as to ensure that each Trust is operated robustly, with its assets remaining safe and protected. Having an independent Trustee and an annual administration process assists with this as it helps to show that your Trust is a separate legal entity distinguishable from your personal ownership. Proving that your Trust is robust from this perspective may make all the difference should there be a potential claim on the Trust assets in Court by a creditor or in a relationship property dispute.
For more information or for assistance please contact our Private Clients team.