The webinar was a lively discussion in relation to parties to a trust arrangement. A trust is a relationship among the trustee, settlor and beneficiary. In most trust arrangements, there are also other persons such as the protector and investment decision maker or an investment committee. The settlor plays an important role to set a clear objective and direction for the trust arrangement. The basic duty of trustee is to administer the trust in accordance with the terms of the trust arrangement honestly and in good faith for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The position affirmed in the case Zhang Hong Li v. DBS Bank and others [2019] HKCFA 45., that anti-Bartlett provisions can be “disapplied” any potentially relevant duty such as duty to avoid speculative or non-diversified investments enhance. Investment decision-maker role must be carefully considered in tandem with his/her skills in managing the trust assets. Often the trustee looks to the letter of wishes for guidance to administer the trust yet the trustee should be mindful not to have an over reliance upon the letter of wishes as in the case, Lo To Lee-Kwan v. HSBC Trustee [2019] HKCFI 1268.  Protector of a trust arrangement must act honestly and use reasonable diligence. He/She is someone that knows the family and plays the role of a collaborator, a facilitator and not a shadow trustee. In modern days, it would be helpful for beneficiaries to have knowledge and understanding of the trust arrangement.
 
In conclusion, to make the trust arrangement effective, all parties need to play their roles conscientiously to build a lasting harmonious relationship.

Click HERE to view webinar photos. 

Contributed by: 
Ms Goh Seow Chee - Managing Director, Aequitas Advisory Pte Ltd

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