Monday, February 20, 2012

What Is a Trustee?

There are a lot of words specific to estate plan that are tossed around a lighting speed, which can confuse a great many people.  One of them is "trustee".  Time and time again I have clients say, "wait, what is the trustee again?"

A trustee is a person or organization that someone appoints to manage assets in a trust.  That may be a trust created during live (called a living trust) or one created at death (testamentary trust).  The trustee handles investment of the assets, coordinates tax forms, and writes checks to the beneficiaries.  The trustee can be a trusted relative or friend, or it can be an organization, usually the trust department of a large bank or financial institution.

Photo credit: - free image

A trustee is not the same as the personal representative.  See my earlier post about that role.  They can be the same person, but they are different job functions in the world of estate planning.

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