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What is the Job of a Trustee?

by Chris Cooper, Financial Planning Expert
March 05, 2015

Question: What is the job of a trustee?

Answer: The job of the trustee is to be the title holder of all the assets of a trust, be there real estate, investments, business interests, life insurance, etc. The trustee is the actual owner of all assets in a trust.  You may have created the trust, the job called the Grantor or Trustor, you may have been appointed your own trustee, so you hold title to the property and other things held in the trust, and you may have named yourself the beneficiary, the person(s) who enjoys the trust property.

But when you can no longer serve as trustee, because of incapacity or death, then you name a successor trustee in your trust document to take over the control and title of the trust assets.  This successor trustee could be a beneficiary of the trust, such as a spouse or other family member, or a professional.  Both a family member appointed as trustee or a professional trustee are held to the same fiduciary standards, that is to act in the best interest of the trust, and be a good steward.  

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Chris Cooper is the owner and founder of Chris Cooper & Company, Inc., a fee-only financial planning firm for elderly persons and the owner and founder of ElderCare Advocates, Inc. a private geriatric care management and long term care consulting firm. As a California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, Chris can serve as  Conservator of the Person and Estate under court appointment,  as Agent under a Durable Power of Attorney for Financial matters and Health Care matters.

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