Trustees make decisions about the land

A trustee's job is to ensure the provisions of the trust order are complied with and that they act in the interests of all beneficial owners to protect and enhance the land and assets. Trustees determine how to handle new business, make important decisions with a long-term strategy in mind, and generally ensure the land is well looked after.

Guidelines for being a trustee

There are guidelines that trustees have to follow. They should:

  • know what the trust is responsible for, including what's in the trust order
  • follow the rules about what a trustee can and can't do (according to the trust order and the law)
  • represent the land owners and treat all land owners fairly and impartially
  • protect the assets of the trust
  • take care not to spend trust funds unnecessarily or without authority – trustees are entitled to payments of expenses if it's in the trust order, but aren't allowed to personally benefit.

There are different kinds of trustees

We work with different kinds of trustee roles. Each has a different level of influence and responsibility:

  • Responsible trustees are the people who are legally responsible for the land.
  • Advisory trustees are representatives of the owners, when the responsible trustee is a third party.
  • Custodian trustees are legal owners of the land and are appointed by the responsible trustees to hold and protect trusts assets.
  • Agents do work for a trust when directed to by the responsible trustee, but can't make decisions for a trust.

Read a more detailed breakdown of the different kinds of trustees.