Your Trustee Questions Answered

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

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

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

What are contingent trustees?
Contingent trustees are back-up trustees who serve if the primary trustee is unable or unwilling to serve.

What do trustees do?
Trustees should perform the instructions in the trust; primary duties include handling possessions, investing assets, filing taxes, and making circulations to recipients. In addition, there are tasks directly associated with the type of trustee.

What are the kinds of trustees?
There are special needs trustees who serve when the trust maker becomes legally immobilized; there are death or settlement trustees who serve when the trust maker passes away; there are beneficiary trust trustees who act as trustee of trusts for beneficiaries; and, there are trustees of all type of trusts such as personal residence trusts, life insurance trusts, charitable trusts, and the like.

Who is the perfect trustee?
The ideal trustee is truthful, appreciates serving well, efficiently interacts with professional consultants and beneficiaries, is an excellent record keeper, and can be held financially accountable.