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Rules and trust deeds

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The terms 'trust deed' and 'rules' are used to describe the 'constitutional document' that lays out how the board is to operate and how the trust property is to be administered.

The Charitable Trusts Act 1957 requires every charitable trust to provide the Registrar of Incorporated Societies with a copy of the documents that show the general purposes of the trustees or society. 

In the case of a society applying for incorporation as a charitable trust, they must also provide a copy of the document that sets out the constitution of the society. 

  • The terms 'trust deed' and 'rules' are used to describe the 'constitutional document' that sets out how the board is to operate and how the trust property is to be administered. 
  • It is common for trustees as a board to be governed by a trust deed and societies as boards to be governed by a constitution or a set of rules. These documents need to be registered with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.
  • There must be a clear intention to devote property to a charitable purpose. The property must be clearly defined and the purpose must be of a public nature. That is, for the benefit of the community or a section of the community. 
  • The purpose of the trust must either comply with the meaning of the term 'charitable' as defined in the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 or be religious or educational in character.
  • The Charitable Trusts Act 1957 does not prescribe the format or what needs to be included in a trust deed or a set of rules.

 

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Last updated 28 September 2016