Frequently, trustees have to consider whether they should open a bank account for the Trust. This consideration usually arises when a Family Trust either receives funds or the Trust has to make a payment. My view is that a bank account should be opened when the need exists for such an account. So, if the Trust is going to receive funds or pay out funds, then a bank account is necessary. Hence, if a Trust hold shares and will be receiving dividends, then those dividends will belong to the Trust and hence should be banked into the Trust’s bank account. Correspondingly, if a Trust is going to incur expenses, such as having to pay for a new roof of the home that it owns, these expenses should be paid out of the Trust’s bank account.
Having a separate bank account and keeping copies of all the trust’s bank statements showing all the transactions undertaken by the trustees is of enormous help in satisfying this duty. Remember however, those transactions will need to be recorded in minutes and financial accounts based on the information contained in the bank statements will need to be completed.