Trustees Act

(Original Enactment: Act 17 of 1967)

(1st August 1999)
An Act relating to trustees.
[15th July 1967]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Trustees Act.
Application of Act
2.—(1)  This Act, except where otherwise expressly provided, shall apply to trusts including, so far as this Act applies thereto, executorships and administratorships constituted or created either before, on or after 1st September 1929.
(2)  The powers conferred by this Act on trustees are in addition to the powers conferred by the instrument, if any, creating the trust, but those powers, unless otherwise stated, apply if and so far only as a contrary intention is not expressed in the instrument, if any, creating the trust, and have effect subject to the terms of that instrument.
(3)  This Act shall not affect the legality or validity of anything done before 1st September 1929, except as otherwise expressly provided.
3.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“approved company” means a company —
(a)incorporated in Singapore and which has a place of business in Singapore; and
(b)having as its sole or primary object the promotion of home ownership by advancing for the purchase of lands and buildings sums of money, repayable by instalments of principal and interest over a fixed period of years, not exceeding at any time the valuation of such lands and buildings made by an approved valuer;
“approved valuer” means an appraiser or a surveyor who is registered under the Land Surveyors Act (Cap. 156) and has in force a practising certificate issued under that Act, and includes any other person approved by the Minister;
“authorised investments” means investments authorised by the instrument, if any, creating the trust for the investment of money subject to the trust, or by law;
“authorised unit trust scheme” means any unit trust scheme which has fulfilled to the satisfaction of the Minister the conditions contained in section 83 and which has been declared by an order of the Minister for the time being in force to be an authorised unit trust scheme for the purposes of this Act;
“contingent right”, as applied to land, includes a contingent or executory interest, a possibility coupled with an interest, whether the object of the gift or limitation of the interest or possibility is or is not ascertained, also a right of entry, whether immediate or future, and whether vested or contingent;
“convey” and “conveyance”, as applied to any person, include the execution by that person of every necessary or suitable assurance (including an assent) for conveying, assigning, appointing, surrendering, or otherwise transferring or disposing of land whereof he is seised or possessed, or wherein he is entitled to a contingent right, either for his whole estate or for any less estate, together with the performance of all formalities required by law for the validity of the conveyance;
“court” means the High Court;
“debentures” includes debenture stock, loan stock, bonds, notes and any other document which creates or acknowledges a debt, whether constituting a charge on assets or not;
“income” includes rents and profits;
“instrument” includes a written law;
“land” means —
(a)the surface of any defined parcel of the earth, all substances thereunder and so much of the column of airspace above the surface whether or not held apart from the surface as is reasonably necessary for the proprietor’s use and enjoyment, and includes any estate or interest therein and all vegetation growing thereon and structures affixed thereto; or
(b)any parcel of airspace or any subterranean space held apart from the surface of the earth and described with certainty by reference to a plan approved by the Chief Surveyor and filed in the Survey Department, and includes any estate or interest therein and all vegetation growing thereon and structures affixed thereto;
[17/2001 wef 01/06/2001]
“mentally disordered person” means any person found by due course of law to be of unsound mind and incapable of managing himself or his affairs;
“mortgage”, “mortgagee” and “mortgagor” include “charge”, “chargee” and “chargor” respectively, and further include and relate to every estate and interest regarded in equity as merely a security for money, and every person deriving title under the original mortgagee;
“pay” and “payment”, as applied in relation to stocks and securities and in connection with the expression “into court”, include the deposit or transfer of the same in or into court;
“personal representative” means the executor, original or by representation, or administrator for the time being of a deceased person;
“person of unsound mind” means any person, not a minor, who not having been found to be a mentally disordered person is incapable from infirmity of mind of managing his own affairs;
“possessed” applies to receipt of income of and to any vested estate less than a life interest in possession or in expectancy in any land;
“possession” includes receipt of rents and profits or the right to receive the same, if any;
“property” includes movable and immovable property, and any estate, share and interest in any property, movable or immovable, and any debt, and any thing in action, and any other right or interest, whether in possession or not;
“rights” includes estates and interests;
“sale” includes an exchange;
“securities” includes debentures, stocks, funds and shares; and so far as relates to payments into court has the same meaning as in the written laws relating to funds in court;
“securities payable to bearer” includes securities transferable by delivery or by delivery and endorsement;
“shareholders equity”, in relation to a company, means the total assets of the company less the total liabilities of the company as disclosed in the last audited accounts of the company laid before a general meeting of the company in accordance with section 201 of the Companies Act (Cap. 50) (or the equivalent provision of the law of any other country which applies to that company) or, if a prospectus has subsequently been registered by the company in accordance with the requirements of law, the accounts contained in that prospectus;
“solicitor” means an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court;
“stock” includes fully paid-up shares, and, so far as relates to vesting orders made by the court under this Act, includes any fund, annuity or security transferable in books kept by any corporation, company or society, or by instrument of transfer either alone or accompanied by other formalities or otherwise, and any share or interest therein;
“transfer”, in relation to stock or securities, includes the performance and execution of every deed, power of attorney, act, and thing on the part of the transferor to effect and complete the title in the transferee;
“trust” does not include the duties incident to an estate conveyed by way of mortgage, but with this exception “trust” and “trustee” extend to implied and constructive trusts, and to cases where the trustee has a beneficial interest in the trust property, and to the duties incident to the office of a personal representative, and “trustee” where the context admits includes a personal representative, and “new trustee” includes an additional trustee;
“trust corporation” means the Public Trustee or a corporation either appointed by the court in any particular case to be a trustee, or registered as a trust company under the Trust Companies Act (Cap. 336);
“trust for sale”, in relation to land, means an immediate binding trust for sale, whether or not exercisable at the request or with the consent of any person, and with or without power at discretion to postpone the sale;
“trustees for sale” means the persons (including a personal representative) holding land on trust for sale;
“unit”, in relation to a unit trust scheme, means a right or interest (whether described as a unit, sub-unit or otherwise) which may be acquired under the scheme;
“unit trust scheme” means any arrangement made for the purpose, or having the effect, of providing for persons having funds available for investment, facilities for the participation by them, as beneficiaries under a trust, in profits or income arising from the acquisition, holding, management or disposal of any property.
[8/78; 24/91; 23/92]