What is Estate Planning?

What is a Trustee?

A trustee is responsible for managing the assets in the name of your trust. These assets could include anything from financial accounts and investments to real estate.

The Trustee's Authority and Obligations

In most cases, a trustee is granted sole authority to access the funds in the trust, write checks, approve distributions, and conduct any other business on behalf of the trust. Trustees also have a legal obligation to the current and future beneficiaries to manage the trust appropriately, make prudent investment decisions, and may be required to provide annual accountings.

Just like with naming an executor, naming your trustee deserves time and careful consideration. Questions to ask yourself when making this decision should include:

  • Will they have the knowledge to effectively administer and manage the trust assets?
  • Will they read and comply with current trust law?
  • Would their relationship with the beneficiary have any impact on any decisions that needed to be made on behalf of the trust?
  • Would this person seek the right advice when something is over their head?

Naming this person or professional deserves careful consideration. Think about their ability and available time to settle your estate, the relationship they have with any beneficiary, and the impact the role could have on those relationships. Most importantly, consider the person's desire and capability to take on the role. 

All of the same criteria in selecting an executor should apply to selecting any trustees. You want your assets in good hands after you pass away. Don't leave your loved ones in a difficult situation without you there to guide them. Talk to the people you're considering. Be sure they're agreeable to being named in your trust, and make a decision from there. 

Questions? Reach out to one of our professionals at BECU Trust Services. We can help answer any questions you have. Contact BECU Trust Services at 206-812-5176, or at becutrust@becu.org.

Helpful Resources

BECU Trust Services is a trade name used by MembersĀ® Trust Company under license from BECU. Trust services are provided by MembersĀ® Trust Company, a federal thrift regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. This is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or tax advice regarding your situation. For legal or tax advice, please consult your attorney and/or accountant. Trust products not federally insured, not subject to credit union or affiliate guarantee, and may lose value.