Charity law – can I became A Trustee of a Charity and What Is Involved

The guardian is the person who is responsible for managing and supervising the work of the charity. Depending on the terminology used in the charity's Constitution, the Trustees may be referred to by a number of other names, such as "the Governor", "supervisor" or "guard". If the charity has been incorporated and operates through the company then the Trustees will also become a Director of that company.

Who can become a guardian?
Anyone over the age of 18 can become a trustee of the charity. However, the charity's operations are regulated by the Charity Commission and the charities that are registered with the Commission should ask the Mayor. The Commission can prevent someone to act as a trustee if it considered them to be unsuitable for the role to one of the following reasons:

The trustee is undischarged bankrupt;
The trustee has been convicted of a serious criminal offense is proven to do, especially if it is a violation of fraud or dishonesty;
The trustee has been disqualified or prohibited from acting as a Director of the company

It is also possible that the Constitution that governs charities to impose restrictions on who can be the guardian. For example, the Constitution can raise the age restriction of 21 or require the Trustees to have experience or qualifications in a particular field (e.g. religious charities who need carers for ordained Ministers).

What is the responsibility of the guardian?
Supervisors are responsible for making decisions about the management of the charity and is charged with the management of property and assets. If the day-to-day activities of a charity controlled by a Manager or chief executive is paid, then the trustee may have to approve or allow any action that managers need.

At a minimum, the supervisor must attend Board meetings every few months, but the mayors are often appointed because they have special skills that are useful for charity. For example, a trustee who is an accountant can act as Treasurer and trustee who oversaw builders construction projects. However, even special functions delegated to carers of individuals, it is important to remember that all share responsibility for the decision of the guardian.

Regardless of whether a charity is not connected or not, trustee companies also owe a "fiduciary duty" to the charity which is the highest standard of care that the law recognizes. Simply put, the mayors are expected to be truly faithful to charity, completely open in all his dealings, not putting his own interests before those of charity and not let anything interfere with her ability to perform her duties for charity. When dealing with property or assets belonging to the charity, the law requires the trustee to take the same level of care as "a man wise enough" to be taken with its own assets.

Can the trustee is liable for the debt charity?
It depends on the structures that have adopted charity. Where the charity is operating in the traditional way, as an unincorporated trust then the trustee may be responsible for debts or obligations arising from a charity, although very rarely the Court of claims made against the charity.

However, if the charity has been incorporated and operating through a limited company, the trustee will normally be members and directors of the company. They are protected from debts and liabilities arising from the charity in the same way as a shareholder and Director of a company which operates through the company.

Breach of fiduciary duty if the guardian and cause harm to the charity, the Charity Commission can order the trustee to replace charity, even though this type of action is usually taken only where there is some fault on the part of the trustee.

Can the trustee is liable for the debt charity?
Because of the strict legal tasks the trustee owe it to charities, it's always advisable to take legal advice before making major decisions or changing the way in which charities operate. Law of Charity is a specialized field and law society keeps a register of lawyers who practice in law.