DEFINITION of 'Trustee'

A person or firm that holds or administers property or assets for the benefit of a third party. A trustee may be appointed for a wide variety of purposes, such as in the case of bankruptcy, for a charity, a trust fund or for certain types of retirement plans or pensions. They are trusted to make decisions in the beneficiary's best interests.


A trustee is required to uphold a strong level of integrity and impartiality in conducting its duties. Typically, a trustee is not permitted to benefit or profit from its position unless the trust document specifically allows for payments to the trustee for providing services. Often, a trustee may have a fiduciary responsibility to the trust beneficiaries.

  1. Indenture

    A legal and binding contract between a bond issuer and the bondholders.
  2. Bare Trust

    A basic trust in which the beneficiary has the absolute right ...
  3. Bond Trustee

    A financial institution with trust powers, such as a commercial ...
  4. Employee Trust

    A trust fund established by an employer on behalf of its employees ...
  5. Irrevocable Trust

    A trust that can't be modified or terminated without the permission ...
  6. Exemption Trust

    A trust whose purpose is to drastically reduce or eliminate federal ...
Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    Can You Trust Your Trustee?

    Ignorance and incompetence can cost you money. Make sure your trustee is up to the task.
  2. Options & Futures

    How To Avoid Taxation On Life Insurance Proceeds

    Decrease the value of your taxable estate and prevent the tax man from getting you one last time.
  3. Insurance

    Encouraging Good Habits With An Incentive Trust

    Money can be a powerful motivator - why not use it to teach your heirs positive lessons?
  4. Retirement

    Establishing A Revocable Living Trust

    This arrangement allows you to have more control over your estate - both before and after your death.
  5. Retirement

    Should You Put Your Faith In A Trust?

    Many institutions want a piece of your portfolio, but trusts can provide a one-stop shop.
  6. Retirement

    Saving Money With A Private Annuity Trust

    Learn about a strategy that could help you reduce taxes, diversify your portfolio and generate income.
  7. Retirement

    Estate Planning Basics

    Deciding what will happen to your assets when you pass away is a must - no matter how wealthy you are.
  8. Professionals

    Charity or Retirement Saving: Which to Prioritize?

    Financial planners need to help clients with their financial goals but also support them in their philanthropic endeavours.
  9. Professionals

    How Legacy Planning Can Help Capture New Clients

    Don’t underestimate the importance of legacy planning with your clients—it could serve as method for you to create new business with any heirs.
  10. Professionals

    Tips for Retaining Your Client's Heirs

    It's a good idea to start working with your clients' children early on to forge relationships and hopefully continue to manage that wealth.
  1. What are some examples of fiduciary duty?

    Under the U.S. legal system, a fiduciary duty is the legal term describing the relationship between two parties that obligates ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is a good book on creating a trust that would qualify as the beneficiary for ...

    "Life And Death Planning For Retirement Benefits" has all you need and more. If you read this book, you won't need any luck.To ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. If a trust is named as the beneficiary of an IRA, can the trustee of that trust become ...

    While the IRA owner is alive, only the IRA owner can change the designated beneficiary of the IRA. Exceptions may apply ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can I put my IRA in a trust?

    You cannot put your IRA in a trust while you are living. You can, however, name a trust as the beneficiary of your IRA and ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does the trust maker transfer funds into a revocable trust?

    Once a revocable trust is created, a trust maker transfers funds or property into the trust by including them in a list with ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between a revocable trust and a living trust?

    A revocable trust and living trust are separate terms that describe the same thing: a trust in which the terms can be changed ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  2. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  3. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  4. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  5. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  6. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!