Trustee – someone with legal title to property that holds it in trust, with duties to convert to cash all debts and securities that are not qualified legal investments, to reinvest the cash in proper securities, to protect & preserve the trust property, and to ensure that it is employed solely for the beneficiary

trustee:

n. (17c.) 1. Someone who stands in a fiduciary or confidential relation to another; especially one who, having legal title to property, holds it in trust for the benefit of another & owes a fiduciary duty to that beneficiary.   Generally, a trustee’s duties are to convert to cash all debts and securities that are not qualified legal investments, to reinvest the cash in proper securities, to protect & preserve the trust property, and to ensure that it is employed solely for the beneficiaryin accordance with the directions contained in the trust instrument.”

     Excerpt from William W. Story’s A Treatise on the Law of Contracts:

     “A trustee is bound to perform all acts which are necessary for the proper execution of his trust.  But by the English rule, as he is not allowed compensation for his services, he would stand in the position of a gratuitous bailee, & be responsible only for losses or improper execution of his trust, in cases of gross negligence.  The rule denying him compensation does not, however, obtain generally in America, and it is the general practice in America to allow commissions to trustees in cases of open and admitted trusts, where the trustee has not forfeited them by gross misconduct.  It would seem, that in all the States where a compensation is given, he would be a bailee for hire of labor and services, and bound to exercise ordinary diligence.  And he engages that he has sufficient skill to execute the duties of his office properly. And, indeed, a trustee seems generally to be bound to take the same care of the trust fund as a prudent and discreet man would take of his own property, to manage it for the best interest of the cestui que trust, & to make no profit or advantage out of it for himself personally.” [2]

References:

All material utilized in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: 1 William W. Story, A Treatise on the Law of Contracts374, at 328-30 (1874)

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