What is a co-trustee on a trust?
n. a trustee of a trust when there is more than one trustee serving at the same time, usually with the same powers and obligations. Occasionally a co-trustee may be a temporary fill-in, as when the original trustee is ill but recovers.
What does it mean to be a co trustee of a trust?
In addition, co-trustees must generally act cooperatively with each other, unless the trust explicitly grants certain duties to a single trustee. This means that each co-trustee must act with the full consent and knowledge of the other co-trustees.
When do co-trustees need to work together?
All trustees must act in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the trust, and doing so requires cooperation among the trustees. This is especially true when the co-trustees have to act together in order to accomplish the trust administration tasks. If you are in charge of administering a trust, we can help.
Can a co-trustee act without both signatures?
Because of this growing problem, we are now recommending that trusts naming co-trustees state that the co-trustees can act independently (i.e., act alone and without both signatures).
What are the problems of successor co-trustees in a trust?
This can also slow down or cause problems when one trustee goes out of town for vacation, is incapacitated, etc. A well written trust agreement should provide for replacement of a co-trustee who cannot serve for some reason, or state that the remaining co-trustee can act alone in this scenario.
What are the responsibilities of a co trustee?
The responsibilities of a co-trustee are to manage the trust assets in accordance with the wishes of the maker as set forth in the terms of the trust. The trustees also have a fiduciary responsibility to the beneficiaries of the trust.
What rights does a co trustee have?
Co-trustees have the right to demand full disclosure from all co-trustees. Full disclosure requires all co-trustees to tell the other co-trustees about any personal interest they may have in an investment decision involving the trust assets. A co-trustee must report any suspected breaches by co-trustees to the trust beneficiaries immediately.
Can a co trustee act alone?
The co-trustee must act in consultation with the other trustee(s), unless the language of the trust allows one co-trustee to act alone. The respective power of co-trustees depends largely on the terms of the instrument creating it.
What is the difference from a trustee?
One key difference is that the Trustee is appointed in a Living Trust and an Executor/Personal Representative is named in a Last Will and Testament. The second major difference is that a Trustee does not need to go through Probate to settle an estate because Living Trusts avoid Probate Court.