Theresa Mills
Associate Solicitor
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Date Published:07 Aug 2017 Last Updated:17 Jan 2022

What Is a Trustee?

Wills, Trusts & Probate

Trustees are the legal owners of the assets held within the trust. As such, they are the decision makers on matters including most importantly, where trust funds are invested. However, the benefit (or value) of the trust assets does not belong to the trustees, it belongs to the beneficiaries.

Trustees powers come from the trust deed itself and statutory provisions such as the Trustee Act 1925.

Trustees are not only responsible for looking after the trust fund but must also perform administrative duties which, depending on the type of trust, may include:

  • Preparing trust accounts
  • Reporting to HMRC for income tax purposes
  • Preparing R185 tax certificates when distributing income to beneficiaries
  • Insuring trust property
  • Completing 10 year periodic charges to inheritance tax
  • Dealing with other regulatory matters such as reporting to the Charity Commission (for example if the trust is a charity)
  • Keeping trust records of decisions made by the trustees.

If you require any advice and assistance with any matter concerning trusts please feel free to contact our dedicated trust team at our Ringwood office by calling 01425 484848 – or send us an email enquiry ( Or alternatively, find out more about our wider Wills, Trusts and Probate team.