If passed, the new Trustee Act would replace existing legislation and improve the management of trusts by setting clear provisions to support improved day-to-day function of all trusts for Albertans, such as charities, businesses and people with trusts in wills.

New provisions, like clarifying trustees’ duties and their accountability, would also improve the administration of trusts and increase protection for beneficiaries.

“Outdated trust laws are burdensome for Albertans, trustees and the legal community. By modernizing these laws, trustees will have greater accountability and it will be simpler to create trusts for Albertans. These changes will also ensure that trust laws are current and reflect the needs of Albertans.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

Additional provisions would result in trustees and beneficiaries not needing to make applications in court in some situations. This would result in cost savings for Albertans and free up the court’s time and resources.

“We know the recommended changes to the Trustee Act will be welcomed and supported by both Albertans needing a trustee for their estate and those called to serve as trustee. Thank you to the Alberta Law Reform Institute for their work on updating these laws, and we appreciate that the government has moved these changes forward.”

Bianca Kratt, president, Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Branch

“The benefit of the new Trustee Act is in providing a complete modern framework to deal with everyday issues arising in the management of a trust and helping Albertans responsible for managing the affairs of others. We fully support this important reform of trust law for the benefit of Albertans.”

Ruth M. Spetz, QC, TEP past chair, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Calgary

“The new Trustee Act simplifies the management of trusts by ensuring trustee powers and duties are clear and easy to understand and includes the ability for expanded delegation by trustees primarily in investment and administrative matters. We fully support this important reform of trust law for the benefit of Albertans.”

Salvatore N. Amelio, QC, TEP chair, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Edmonton

Current legislation mainly deals with trusts under wills. Trusts have evolved, requiring significant legislative reforms to bring them into the 21st century.

Quick facts

  • A trust is a document by which assets are held and administered for the benefit of others.
  • The option of going to court will remain for trustees and beneficiaries but, in most cases, will not be required.