A Trustee is a person who takes responsibility for managing money or assets that have been set aside in a Trust for the benefit of someone else.
As a Trustee, you must use the money or assets in the Trust only for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the Trust.
If you are asked to be a Trustee, think carefully about whether it is right for you. Here are some things to consider.
Being a Trustee can really help someone important to you. If someone asks you to be a Trustee, it usually means they have a high level of confidence in you to do the right thing for them and the people who benefit from the Trust.
It is a lot of work and responsibility, and you could end up being liable for any loss, including financial losses, made by the Trust if your duties are not managed correctly. Do not underestimate this commitment, some Trusts can take a great deal of time to manage properly. As a Trustee you are not typically paid and there can be no benefit to yourself. As a Trustee you will be carrying out your duties for the benefit of others.
Being a Trustee is a long-term commitment. Some Trusts have an end date, for example, when a child turns 18 – but others can go on for up to 125 years. This means that you could be a Trustee for decades in some cases.
The Trustees must agree with each other when making Trust decisions. You should consider who they are and decide if you think the relationship will work. Remember this is likely to be a long-term working relationship.
If you are asked to be a Trustee, you should be certain you understand your role and you should proceed with caution.