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During January, on select Internet forums visited by trustees, I posted this question: "What is the essential purpose of the trustee?"
The rest of this web document consists of a sampling of quotes (some direct and some paraphrased) extracted from the threads so—no quote marks!
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To hold legal title to property for the benefit of another.
To invest and manage trust assets as a prudent investor would.
To do what's right.
To carry out the legacy of the grantor.
To follow the trust document within the context of the relevant law; to keep the beneficiary(ies) happy; and to make money for the bank.
To practice the so-called Cardinal Virtues, of prudence, fortitude/courage, temperance and justice. Act in line with the trust deed and rules; act prudently, responsibly and honestly; act in the best interests of our beneficiaries; and act impartially.
To help a beneficiary develop his or her own personal gifts to become a contributing member of society.
To carry out the trust's terms in an efficient manner at a businesslike pace.
To steward transformation.
To manage the assets, educate the beneficiaries, and make prudent decisions on how and when to make distributions to beneficiaries.
To serve the beneficiary the way the trust creator would have done were s/he then able.
To carry out the wishes of the settlor for the benefit of the beneficiaries while operating within the constraints of the property at hand (and its resulting income flow).
To embody the cycle of the gift: to help the giver (if possible) become alive to all the possibilities of the gift, to prepare the beneficiary to receive well, and to keep the spirit of the gift alive in the family.
To act always with an undivided honor, responsibility, and loyalty to the purpose of the trust and the best interests of the beneficiaries.
To carry out directions and instructions of the creator of the trust to provide financial security for the family and future beneficiaries.
To be an independent, unbiased guardian of the trust assets for the future generations of a family and to be a trusted advisor to the family.
To manage property for the equitable benefit of others with undivided loyalty to those others' interests and the purpose of the governing document, while taking into account changing circumstances.
To preserve and if possible enhance the trust assets for the good of the beneficiaries.
To first do no harm.
To manage assets entrusted to it and to provide advice and consultation that is in the best interest of the beneficiary.
To observe utmost good faith and act en bon perre de famille (as a good father).
To take care of things.
To meet the changing needs of the beneficiary in the context of the trust creator's vision, within the parameters set by the trust document and the law.
It is in the role of mentor that a trustee's real worth to the beneficiary, and thus to the grantor's desire to make a gift that is empowering to the beneficiary, can be found.
To tell the 16 year old child of the grantor that a TransAm is not "necessary"
To be a fiduciary navigator in a sea of choices
To look out for the best long-term interests of the beneficiary, even if the beneficiary does not see it that way.
To play a dynamic role on a family team.
To help the beneficiary move from systems based on anxiety about self and the world to more empowering perspectives.
To act in a conscientious, knowledgeable and ethical manner to help grantors find comfort in knowing that their beneficiaries will be cared for financially in as close to the same way (or better) than the grantor would if he/she were still alive or otherwise able to do so.
To oversee assets for the benefit of someone while giving wisdom, discipline, insight and knowledge.
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Our lively keynotes will make a great addition to your next conference, and our workshops mix fun with the challenge to think in new ways. Topics include:
On The Road To Practical Wisdom
Becoming A More Effective Beneficiary | Trustee
Technical Trustee or Deeply Trusted Advisor?
Lessons Learned From The Positive Story Project
I work side by side with beneficiaries, trustees, and their advisors on the issues that matter most.
Family Trustscape Meetings™
Preparation for Your Next Beneficiary/Trustee Meeting
The Navigating Your Next Five Years System™