A Guide to Trustees' Duties

Being a trustee is a position of personal accountability and responsibility.

In this guide:

  • What is the role of a trustee? - Before accepting this role, you should have an understanding of what can be involved.
  • Who can be a trustee?  – There are qualities which should be considered when picking trustees.
  • What are the main duties of a trustee? – A trustee must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries at all times.

A Guide to Trustees' Duties


Please note that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does not regulate cash flow planning, estate planning, tax or trust advice.

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From this guide:

Duty to invest

The Trustee Act 2000, (‘the Act’) set out new general powers of investment for trustees. A trustee is entitled to make any kind of investment as if he were absolutely entitled to the assets of the trust subject to safeguards known as the standard investment criteria.

In short, these standard investment criteria, as set out in ‘the Act’ are:

  • To ensure the suitability of the investments proposed or retained by the trustees, and;
  • So far as is appropriate, consider the need for diversification of the investments of the trust. 

According to ‘the Act’, trustees must obtain and consider ‘proper’ advice both prior to an investment being made and when reviewing the assets already held.

The only exception is if the trustee can conclude that in all circumstances it is unnecessary or inappropriate to do so and it is difficult to foresee many situations where this exception would apply.

Download the full guide to read more.

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