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Trustee Definition

A trustee is a person or a company that manages the trust assets for the benefit of a third party or beneficiary, according to the terms of the trust document. Furthermore, a trustee manages and executes decisions for the beneficiary’s benefit and best interest. When creating a trust, it is important to consider possible questions that can help guide you through the creation process.

Is a Trustee the Same as a Beneficiary?

Although both are included as part of your overall estate plan, beneficiaries and trustees play different roles. The beneficiary is the individual who may receive the property or assets included in the trust, while the trustee is the person or company in charge of managing and administering the trust in accordance with the trust document. 

What Is the Role of a Trustee? 

A trustee is the legal administrator of trust assets.  Since the role of the trustee is to distribute assets or property according to a trust’s terms, it is important to appoint someone who is known and trusted by your family.  A good trustee should go above and beyond to form meaningful relationships with the beneficiaries and act in ways that show a genuine interest in their wellbeing.

What Is the Difference Between an Executor and a Trustee?

A trustee has a fiduciary duty to administer a trust, while an executor has a fiduciary duty to oversee a probate estate. This means that a trustee is responsible for administering a trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries according to the trust agreement, while an executor is responsible for distributing a deceased person’s assets according to that person’s Will.  Typically, a trustee may act for a long period of time (depending on the trust document) whereas an executor’s job is a relatively short term job that ends after a decedent’s estate has been fully distributed to the beneficiaries named in the decedent’s Will.

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This information should not be construed as a recommendation, offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to buy a particular security or investment strategy. The commentary provided is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for accounting, legal, or tax advice. While the information is deemed reliable, Wealthspire Advisors cannot guarantee its accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose, and makes no warranties with regard to the results to be obtained from its use. ©2021 Wealthspire Advisors

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