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question.jpgIn Trusts and Estates

Who can serve as the trustee of a trust?

Generally, anyone who has the capacity to own and transfer property can act as a trustee, which means that the person must generally be competent and of legal age. Individual states may have their own rules about non-persons, such as companies, banks, etc., but generally any legal entity can also act as a trustee. However, it is not enough that the trustee simply be identified by the trust document - the trustee must actually accept this role. Oftentimes the trust will include details of how the trustee can formally accept their role, such as by signing the trust document. Some states require, regardless of what the trust document calls for, that the trustee take a sworn oath of office and post a bond (which will be retained until the trustee’s duties are fulfilled and the trust is terminated).

It is worth noting that the trustee can be more than one person, and the trustees of a trust are often times a collective group. When the trustees are required to make a decision regarding the trust, some states require all of the trustees to agree on the decision, while other states merely require that a majority of the trustees agree on the decision.