Your Trustee Questions Answered

Trusts are an integral part of estate planning and trusts only work when trustees carry out trust guidelines. To that end, we’re addressing your trustee concerns here. If you have extra concerns or need aid selecting a trustee, ask your estate planning attorney.

What is a trustee?
A trustee is a private or corporate fiduciary who owns legal title to trust assets, must perform trust directions, and has a fiduciary duty of care to trust recipients.

What are co-trustees?
Co-trustees are 2 or more trustees who function as trustee together.

What are contingent trustees?
Contingent trustees are back-up trustees who serve if the main trustee is not able or unwilling to serve.

What do trustees do?
Trustees should bring out the directions in the trust; primary duties include managing assets, investing possessions, filing taxes, and making distributions to recipients. In addition, there are responsibilities directly related to the type of trustee.

What are the types of trustees?
There are disability trustees who serve when the trust maker ends up being lawfully disabled; there are death or settlement trustees who serve when the trust maker dies; there are beneficiary trust trustees who function as trustee of trusts for beneficiaries; and, there are trustees of all sort of trusts such as personal home trusts, life insurance coverage trusts, charitable trusts, and the like.

Who is the perfect trustee?
The perfect trustee is honest, cares about serving well, efficiently communicates with professional advisors and beneficiaries, is an excellent record keeper, and can be held financially accountable.