TRUST & ESTATE SERVICES

Top Tips for Trustees

Discover practical points on being a trustee—an honour accepted in support of family or friends, but a role many people learn “on the job.”

07.01.2017 - Thomas E. Junkin, Senior Vice President, Personal Trust Services and Operations

Top Tips for Trustees

A family member or close friend asks you to be trustee of their estate. Naturally, you accept this perceived honour. At some point though, you realize being a trustee can mean significant work and carries with it serious legal responsibility. But you said yes, realizing that one day you would have to learn “on the job.” As professional trustees, we are often asked for advice on where to start when life as a trustee becomes a reality. Here are some thoughts and suggestions for a significant role with an unassuming title.

First, what exactly is a trustee? Basically, it is a person appointed to hold the legal title to some kind of property (i.e., cash, land, patents, etc.). You have a legally enforceable duty to wisely use that property for the benefit of another person or persons. You are answerable to the people for whom the property is held (known as trust beneficiaries) and to the courts. Trusts have a long legal history, and a trustee must obey both written laws, such as The Trustee Act1, as well as the common law that has been laid down over hundreds of years by the precedents of prior legal rulings.

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Thomas E. Junkin, Senior Vice President, Personal Trust Services and Operations

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Discover practical points on being a trustee—an honour accepted in support of family or friends, but a role many people learn “on the job.”

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Discover practical points on being a trustee—an honour accepted in support of family or friends, but a role many people learn “on the job.”

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