Trust Agreements In Edmonton – Get a Lawyer.

What Is A Trust?

In the estate planning context, a “trust” is something that a person sets up (almost always with the help of a lawyer or financial professional) in order to hold property for beneficiaries.  A trust is a document.  The document spells out, sometimes in great detail, the rules to be followed once the trust becomes active.

Why Would Someone Use A Trust?

Trusts are legal documents that can be used to address or solve a variety of situations.  Because of their flexibility they can be very, very handy!  In general a trust is used to reduce taxes, protect property, avoid having to have an estate probated or to “control” what happens after you are gone.

What Do Most Trusts Incude?

Most trusts include the following people, features and characteristics: The Trust “Settlor” or “Trust Grantor” – This is the person who is creating or setting up the trust.  Not the lawyer, but the client.  The person with the property that is being put into the trust. The Trust Property – The trust property is that which is being placed into the trust.  It could be, for example, a certain bank account, or a particular house, or “all my assets”. The Trustee – This is the person who is put in charge of the trust.  Being a trustee is a solemn undertaking and comes with rights and responsibilities and some of the things a trustee can or must do are governed by the Trustee Act of Alberta.   A trustee is accountable to the beneficiaries of the trust and sometimes to the courts depending on the situation. The Trust Beneficiary or Beneficiaries – The beneficiary or beneficiaries usually benefit from the trust in some way, often because they are the ones who will ultimately receive the property that was placed into trust.  It should be clear, or ascertainable, as to exactly who the beneficiaries are. The Trust Document – This is the legal document that creates the trust and sets out the rules of the trust.  This is where a lawyer can be really helpful. These have a wealth of experience in setting up all kinds of estate trusts and call help you.  Call one of our lawyers today.

From the Trustee Act of Alberta RSA 2000, c T-8


1   In this Act, “trustee” includes

                                 (a)    an executor, an administrator or a trustee of the estate of a person,

                                 (b)    a trustee whose trust arises by construction or implication of law as well as an express trustee, and

                                 (c)    several joint trustees.

Trustee liability

4(1)  A trustee is not liable for a loss in connection with the investment of trust funds that arises from a decision or course of action that a trustee exercising reasonable skill and prudence and complying with section 3 could reasonably have made or adopted.

(2)  A court assessing the damages payable by a trustee for a loss to the trust arising from the investment of trust funds may take into account the overall performance of the investments.

Liability of trustee

25   A trustee is chargeable only for money and securities actually received by the trustee, notwithstanding the trustee signing any receipt for the sake of conformity, and is answerable and accountable only for the trustee’s own acts, receipts, neglects or defaults and not for

                                 (a)    those of any other trustee,

                                 (b)    any banker, broker or other person with whom any trust money or securities may be deposited,

                                 (c)    the insufficiency or deficiency of any securities, or

                                 (d)    any other loss, unless it happens through the trustee’s own willful default,

and may reimburse the trustee or pay or discharge out of the trust property all expenses incurred in or about the execution of the trustee’s trust or powers.

Executors and trustees acting together

28(1)  An executor or administrator or 2 or more trustees, acting together, or a sole acting trustee when by the instrument, if any, creating the trust a sole trustee is authorized to execute the trusts and powers of the trust,

                                 (a)    may, if and as that person or they think fit, accept any composition or any security real or personal for any debt or for any property real or personal claimed,

                                 (b)    may allow any time for payment for any debt, and

                                 (c)    may compromise, compound, abandon, submit to arbitration or otherwise settle any debt, account, claim or thing whatever relating to the testator’s or intestate’s estate or to the trust,

and for any of those purposes may enter into, give, execute and make any agreements, instruments of composition or arrangement and releases and do any other things that to that person or them seem expedient without being responsible for any loss occasioned by any act or thing so done by that person or them in good faith.


Personal liability

41   If in any proceeding affecting trustees or trust property it appears to the court

                                 (a)    that a trustee, whether appointed by the court or by an instrument in writing or otherwise, or that any person who in law may be held to be fiduciarily responsible as a trustee, is or might be personally liable for any breach, whether the transaction alleged or found to be a breach of trust occurred before or after the passing of this Act, but

                                 (b)    that the trustee has acted honestly and reasonably and ought fairly to be excused for the breach of trust and for omitting to obtain the directions of the court in the matter in which the trustee committed that breach,

then the court may relieve the trustee either wholly or partly from personal liability for the breach of trust.