Mandatory and Default Duties under the Trust Act 2021 - 7 July 2021 (On Demand)


In the Review of the Law Trusts the Law Commission drew a distinction between mandatory and default duties stating that:
“… Mandatory duties are part of every trust relationship. They will be implied into every true trust, even where a trust deed attempts to exclude them. In some cases the attempted exclusion of a mandatory duty may be evidence that the settlor did not in fact have the requisite intention to create a trust but intended some other legal relationship.

There are other duties that the courts have found to arise in a trust unless the trust deed states that they do not apply. We classify these as default duties. They are implied in the trust relationship if the trust deed is silent on the matter. We consider it is useful to have a list of duties that apply to a trustee in the absence of any trust term to the contrary. Some of these duties may be excluded outright (such as the duty to act without reward) and some may be modified to alter the extent to which they must be met (such as the duty not to be unfairly partial).

This webinar, which will conclude with a question and answer session, will consider the mandatory duties together with the “nuances and variations” that form the backdrop to these duties.

The webinar will also consider the mandatory and default duties in detail, how existing trust terms are to be read in light of these duties, and the extent to which default duties can be modified or excluded.

Other topics covered will include:

  • applicable duties in the absence of a power of variation
  • adviser obligations relating to the modification or exclusion of default duties in relation to pre-Trusts Act trusts
  • what constitutes reasonable steps to ensure a settlor is aware of the meaning and effect of any exclusion or modification of default duties, and
  • what do trustees need to know about default and mandatory duties?
  • how to monitor trustee practices in light of the mandatory and default duties.

The introduction of mandatory and default duties means it is essential that trustees and their advisers have a clear understanding of how to read existing duties in light of the Trusts Act 2019 and what options are available when a default duty has not or cannot be modified.


7 July 2021


Attendees will learn:

  • The scope and impact of default and mandatory duties
  • The extent to which default duties can be modified or excluded
  • What constitutes reasonable steps to ensure a settlor is aware of the meaning and effect of any exclusion or modification of default duties, and
  • How to advise trustees with respect to default and mandatory duties


This webinar is targeted at practitioners at all levels but will be of particular benefit to practitioners who advise trustees or who are trustees or directors of trustee companies.


Vicki Ammundsen, Director, Vicki Ammundsen Trust Law Limited

1.25 CPD Hours

  • On Demand Event
    Complete online in your own time (Self-paced)
    • $195.00 excl. GST

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