Can a trustee also be a beneficiary of the will?

Last modified: September 1, 2023
Estimated reading time: 1 min

Yes, it is possible for a trustee to also be a beneficiary of the trust in Malaysia. However, it is important to exercise caution and ensure that the trustee’s dual role does not create a conflict of interest or compromise the trustee’s fiduciary duties.

As a trustee, the individual has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries and to administer the trust assets impartially. This means that they must prioritize the beneficiaries’ interests over their own personal interests.

To mitigate any potential conflicts, it is advisable to establish safeguards and ensure transparency in the trust administration. This may include:

1. Clearly defining the trustee’s duties and responsibilities in the trust instrument

The trust document should outline the trustee’s role, their fiduciary obligations, and any specific provisions regarding their entitlement as a beneficiary.

2. Regular accounting and reporting

Maintain accurate and transparent records of trust transactions, income, and distributions. Provide regular reports to the beneficiaries, demonstrating the trustee’s adherence to their fiduciary duties and the fair treatment of all beneficiaries.

3. Independent oversight or co-trustees

Consider appointing an independent trustee or co-trustee to help ensure the trustee’s impartiality and prevent any potential bias or favoritism.

By implementing these safeguards, the trustee can fulfill their duties objectively and mitigate conflicts of interest, ensuring the fair and equitable administration of the trust for all beneficiaries.

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