Duties of Charity Trustees

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The duties imposed on Charity Trustees are onerous and not to be taken lightly. A failure to fulfil these can result in a Trustee facing personal liability to make good any consequential loss.


The duties of a Charity Trustee may be summarised as:

On appointment
to be familiar with the constitution of the Charity, and its affairs – are there any suspicious circumstances and if so these should be investigated and deficiences remedied as necessary. Are all the trust assets vested in all of the names of current trustees – to guard against mis-application?


During office

to administer the trust in accordance with the terms of the Charity constitution (assisting even a worthy cause not contemplated by the terms of the Trust Deed will be a breach of this duty), to protect the trust property by prudent investment and accounting (professional advice should be taken) and to insure trust assets such as land and buildings or other valuables.

A Charitable Trustee may not “profit” from his position (for example from opportunities which arise by virtue of his position).


We will always advise Trustees to consider the need for indemnity insurance to protect in the event of their negligence. This insurance will not provide protection against “reckless” acts.

Lawson Lewis Blakers can help with:-


  • Interpretation or schemes of arrangement in relation to Charitable Trust deeds
  • Training of charity trustees
  • Undertaking conveyancing to ensure that trust real property is held by the current Trustees
  • Advice as to appropriate legal status for charities.
  • Advise as to the meaning and effect of the governing documents for your charity



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Lucy Robinson
Chartered Legal Executive

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