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Glossary of terms used on this site

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T

Term Definition
Trustee

A trustee carries the fiduciary responsibility and liability to use the trust assets according to the provisions of the trust instrument (and often regardless of their own or the beneficiaries' wishes). The trustee may find himself liable to claimants, prospective beneficiaries, or third parties. In the event that a trustee incurs a liability (for example, in litigation, or for taxes, or under the terms of a lease) in excess of the trust property they hold, they may find themselves personally liable for the excess.

Trustees are generally held to a "prudent person" standard in regard to meeting their fiduciary responsibilities, though investment, legal, and other professionals can be held to a higher standard commensurate with their higher expertise. Trustees can be paid for their time and trouble in performing their duties only if the trust specifically provides for payment. It is common for lawyers to draft will trusts so as to permit such payment, and to take office accordingly: this may be an unnecessary expense for small estates.

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Julie Says

We are in a syndicate raised by us to purchase a commercial winery. Our accountant was concerned about potential withdrawal of capital and the effect this would have on our bank and remaining backers. Jim was asked to come in, sort it out and get written agreement from all parties as to the movement of capital. He delivered everything we needed and more. Every syndicate member was relaxed and so were our bankers. The legal side was set up by a solicitor of Jims suggestion and it was the simplest set of actions for us all to achieve security of investment.