CUSTODIAN TRUSTEE. By the Public Trustee Act, 1906, which came into operation on the first day of January, 1908, the office of Public Trustee was established.
The Public Trustee may, amongst other duties, if he thinks fit, act as custodian trustee, if appointed by order of the Court, or by the testator, settlor or other creator of a trust, or by the person having power to appoint new trustees.
Section 4 of the Public Trustee Act is as follows : " (1) Subject to rules under this Act the public trustee may, if he consents to act as such, and whether or not the number of trustees has been reduced below the original number, be appointed to be custodian trustee of any trust ' " (a) by order of the Court made on the application of any person on whose application the Court may order the appointment of a new trus tee ; or " (b) by the testator, settlor, or other creator of any trust ; or " (c) by the person having power to appoint new trustees.
" (2) Where the public trustee is appointed to be custodian trustee of any trust " (a) The trust property shall be transferred to the custodian trustee as if he were sole trustee, and for that purpose vesting orders may, where necessary, be made under the Trustee Act, 1S93: " (b) The management of the trust property and the exercise of any power or discretion exerciseable by the trustees under the trust shall remain vested in the trustees other than the custodian trustee (which trustees are herein after referred to as the managing trustees) : " (c) As between the custodian trustee and the managing trustees, and subject and without prejudice to the rights of any other persons, the custodian trustee shall have the custody of all securities and documents of title relating to the trust property, but the managing trustees shall have free ac cess thereto and be entitled to take copies thereof or extracts therefrom : " (d The custodian trustee shall concur in and perform all acts necessary to enable the managing trustees to exer cise their powers of manage ment or any other power or discretion vested in them (including the power to pay money or securities into Court), unless the matter in which he is requested to concur is a breach of trust, or involves a personal liabi lity upon him in respect of calls or otherwise, but, unless he so concurs, the custodian trustee shall not be liable for any act or default on the part of the managing trustees or any of them : All sums payable to or out of the income or capital of the trust property shall be paid to or by the custodian trustee : Provided that the custodian trustee may allow the dividends and other income derived from the trust property to be paid to the managing trustees or to such person as they direct, or into such bank to the credit of such person as they may direct, and in such case shall be exonerated from seeing to the applica tion thereof and shall not be answerable for any loss or misapplication thereof : The power of appointing new trustees, when exerciseable by the trustees, shall be exerciseable by the man aging trustees alone, but the custodian trustee shall have the same power of applying to the Court for the appoint ment of a new trustee as any other trustee : In determining the number of trustees for the purposes of the Trustee Act, 1893, the custodian trustee shall not be reckoned as a trustee : The custodian trustee, if he acts in good faith, shall not be liable for accepting as correct and acting upon the faith of any written state ment by the managing trustees as to any birth, death, marriage, or other matter of pedigree or rela tionship, or other matter of fact, upon which the title to the trust property or any part thereof may depend.
nor for acting upon any legal advice obtained by the managing trustees inde pendently of the custodian trustee : The Court may, on the application of either the cus todian trustee, or any of the managing trustees, or of any beneficiary, and on proof to their satisfaction that it is the general wish of the bene ficiaries, or that on other grounds it is expedient, to terminate the custodian trusteeship, make an order for that purpose, and the Court may thereupon make such vesting orders and give such directions as under the circumstances may seem to the Court to be necessary or expedient.