Duties of Trustee (Section 11 to 22)
The Trusts Act has enumerated the duties of the Trustees as follows-
To execute the trust:
The primary duty of the trustee is to fulfil the ‘purpose’ of the trust and to obey the directions of the Author of the trust, given at the time of its creation.
- Modification is allowed with the consent of all the beneficiaries (if all of them are legally competent). If beneficiary is not competent, the consent may be given by the concerned court.
- Trustee need not obey a direction which is illegal, impracticable or injurious to the beneficiaries.
To act with diligence:
A trustee must acquaint himself with the nature and circumstances of the trust property; he must obtain a transfer to his name of trust property. He must get back moneys invested in insufficient or hazardous security.
To secure title:
The trustee should maintain and defend all suits and take other reasonable steps to preserve and to protect the title of the property & should not set up a title adverse to the interest of the beneficiary (Section. 14)
Standard of care:
The trustee should use as much care and diligence in the management of the trust property as a man of ordinary prudence could deal in respect of his own property. This is the standard of care fixed by law. If he so acts, he will not be responsible for any loss, destruction or deterioration of the trust property.
When the trust is for the benefit of several persons in succession, under the doctrine of conversion, the trustee should convert any wasting or perishable property into a property of a permanent and profitable character.
When there are two or more beneficiaries, the trustee should be impartial. He should not execute the trust for benefit of one at the expense of the other.
To prevent waste:
When a trust is created for the benefit of several persons in succession, then the trustee should take all measures to prevent any act of the beneficiary in possession, which is destructive or permanently injurious to the property.
The trustee should maintain clear and accurate accounts of the trust property and should furnish full and accurate information thereof.
When the trust consists of money and cannot be immediately applied for the purposes of trust, then the money must be invested in the State or Central Government securities as per Section.20, and in no other. This is subject to the direction of the trust deed.