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What Trustee Means

Person researching in dictionary what trustee means

Have you ever wondered what trustee means? What is a trustee responsible for? A trustee typically serves as the representative of a fiduciary relationship. In other words, they have a special obligation to manage assets, investments, and other duties related to property on behalf of another.

What Trustee Means?

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, a trustee is “The person appointed, or required by law, to execute a trust; one in whom an estate, interest, or power is vested, under an express or implied agreement to administer or exercise it for the benefit or to the use of another.”

In other words, a trustee is an individual or group who is legally responsible for managing and protecting the interests of another party. Trustees must act according to a set of rules or regulations when carrying out their duties. In that way, they promote fair, safe, and effective use of a trust’s assets.

State statutes often don’t clearly say what trustee means.

The majority of states have enacted the Uniform Trust code. However, the UTC doesn’t really provide a useful definition. In Arizona, our statute also doesn’t really define trustee. A.R.S. Section 14-1201 simply says””Trustee” includes an original, additional and successor trustee and a cotrustee.”

What Does a Trustee Do?

As a trustee, your primary responsibility is to act in the best interests of your beneficiaries. This can include collecting and investing funds, and administering assets. As well as managing the property itself, trustees also help with tax issues and legal disputes related to the assets under their care. Additionally, trustees must ensure that their actions comply with all applicable laws.

Note: A trustee can also be a beneficiary. That may create a conflict of interest. If you are trustee and also beneficiary, get a trust attorney to help you. Your attorney will help make sure you comply with all applicable laws so you don’t get yourself into hot water.

How Is a Trustee Selected?

Trustees are generally chosen by the trust’s creator, known as the settlor or grantor. This could be an individual, a business, or an institution such as a bank. The settlor typically chooses someone that they trust and who is familiar with the assets being placed in the trust. When choosing trustees, it’s important to consider their ability to carry out their duties properly. Also consider if they have any conflicts of interest or legal incapacity. (HINT: It’s probably not a good idea to appoint someone who is bad with managing money or has a gambling habit to serve as your successor trustee.)

What Trustee Means to the Beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries of a trust rely on the trustee to act in their best interest. That requires the trustee to be responsible. It also requires that the trustee have power to act. So, what powers does a trustee have? Keep reading to find out.

What Powers Does A Trustee Have?

A trustee has the legal power to act on behalf of the trust in a number of ways. They are responsible for administering, investing, distributing and protecting the assets held within the trust. The trustees have a fiduciary duty to carry out their duties with care and diligence. That means that the trustee must always acting in the best interests of the trust’s beneficiaries. They must also make sure that they comply with all relevant laws and regulations relating to the trust.

In Arizona, the duties and powers of a trustee are set forth in A.R.S. Sections 14-10815 and 14-10816.

How Does A Trustee Enforce His or Her Powers?

A trustee has the power to enforce their legal obligations under the terms of the trust. This includes the right to execute documents and to make investments on behalf of the trust. They can also take action against beneficiaries (or prior trustees) who have breached their obligations under a trust by seeking legal advice or challenging them in court. Trustees also have access to a wide range of remedies such as injunctions and damages when enforcing their powers.

What Trustee Means (Compared to Executor or Personal Representative).

One of the main differences between a trustee and an executor is that a trustee manages a trust for the benefit of another person. On the other hand, an executor is responsible for administering a deceased individual’s estate. This means that a trustee has the legal authority to manage assets held in trust and is usually appointed privately. An executor (or personal representative) is appointed by a court. Additionally, trustees generally have much more flexibility with regards to investing and managing tax matters than executors do. (Of course, this depends on your state’s laws and what the terms of the trust say.)

Let Us Help You With Your Trust.

Are you a named trustee? Or maybe someone else is named as trustee, and they aren’t doing a good job? Either way, we can help. We will be your advocate and make sure your rights are protected. We will also make sure your loved one’s wishes are carried out. Give us a call at 602-443-4888. We’re here to help.


Founding attorney Paul Deloughery has been an attorney since 1998, became a Certified Family Wealth Advisor. He is also the founder of Sudden Wealth Protection Law.