Rights and duties of a trustee in relation to expenses incurred in transferring trust property to a beneficiary
A trustee is under a duty to distribute the trust assets to the correct beneficiaries in the execution of the trust, which includes transferring the legal ownership of the trust assets to the beneficiaries. Any failure to distribute to the correct beneficiary can subject the trustees to liability for breach of trust. The Trustee Act 2000, s 31 provides that trustees then have a right to be indemnified from the trust fund in respect of any expenses properly incurred by them when acting as trustees, in the execution of the trust, which include trustees’ fees, investment management fees, legal fees or accounting fees.
Rights and duties of a PR in relation to expenses incurred in transferring bequests to a beneficiary
In contrast to the position described above regarding the transfer of trust property, a Personal Representative (PR) only has to preserve the item specifically bequeathed. It is settled law that the legatee is responsible for the cost of preserving the gift until they take possession of it and for the expense of insuring, packing, carriage, freight, delivery, transfer and vesting of the article, unless the Will makes express provision to the contrary.
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