Co-Trustee Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Co-Trustee, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Co-Trustee?

When a trust is managed by more then one trustee who have equal rights and powers they are called co-trustees.They can only act jointly unless specified when any one trustee can act independently.

History and Meaning of Co-Trustee

Co-trustee is a legal term used to describe a trust that is managed by more than one trustee who have equal rights and powers. It means that each trustee has a full and equal right to manage and control the trust assets. Commonly, co-trustees are appointed to ensure that the trust is managed properly and without any conflicts of interest.

Typically, co-trustees are appointed in situations where the trust has significant assets, complex investments, or multiple beneficiaries with conflicting interests. Co-trustees must work together to make decisions, and any action taken by one co-trustee must be approved by the other(s). In some cases, co-trustees may be permitted to act independently in certain situations or for specific decisions that fall within their area of expertise.

Examples of Co-Trustee

  1. John and Jane were appointed as co-trustees of their father's trust. They must work together to manage the trust assets and make decisions regarding distributions to beneficiaries.

  2. A charitable trust is managed by three co-trustees who are responsible for ensuring that the trust assets are used for the intended purpose of supporting the designated charity.

  3. A trust with multiple beneficiaries has two co-trustees who must work together to ensure that each beneficiary receives their full distribution according to the terms of the trust.

Legal Terms Similar to Co-Trustee

  1. Trustee - A person or entity appointed to manage a trust.
  2. Successor Trustee - A trustee who takes over management of a trust if the original trustee is unable or unwilling to continue serving.
  3. Co-Executor - A legal term used to describe two or more individuals appointed to act as executors of a will.