What is a trustee in a Will?

When a Will is drafted, most people will appoint an Executor. This person or company will be responsible for dividing up the deceased’s estate and managing their affairs after they pass away.

Some Wills will also include trustees, whose job is to manage any ‘trusts’ set out in the will. A trust is set up where it is necessary for someone to hold property or money on behalf of someone else.

For example, a person might leave money to their grandchildren in a Will, but if the grandchildren are under 18, it may be decided to hold the funds in a trust until they are old enough to receive it. The trustee is the person who will essentially look after this money until it can be passed on. To some degree, it is up to the trustee how this money is saved or invested, but the deceased person can provide instructions in their Will.

Trustees have many responsibilities, so it is vital that appointing trustees is done with the utmost care. Trustees have certain roles and responsibilities set out in the law, but it is still important to make sure you choose the right people for this task.

The Executor and trustee will be the same person in many cases, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Trustees are sometimes appointed by the courts – especially if someone dies without a will, and their next of kin is under 18 – but usually, these are appointed by the deceased themselves.

Appointing Executors and trustees, and setting up trusts, is a complicated but essential part of inheritance planning. Capital Life can help you navigate this process and help make sure that your estate is handled professionally and carefully after you pass away. Contact their team of experts now to find out more.