If you have been named as trustee of a trust for a friend or family member, you might not know where to start. If you are already acting as a trustee you may find that there are gaps in your knowledge that get in the way of doing your best in this role. This primer has been written for you. It is a “go to” resource for learning what it means to be a trustee, and how to do it well. It can also serve as a resource for anyone who creates, administers, or benefits from trusts.
The Trustee Primer is the first in a series of resources intended to demystify and distill complex legal concepts and relationships into short, easy-to-read publications. It combines heart and mind in order to help all who are venturing down some of the most complicated, challenging, and potentially rewarding experiences of their lives. Trusts are not just about money or taxes, and this primer can help bring out the best in all parties involved.
“With her trademark wit and breezy style, Patricia Angus breaks down the complicated elements involved in being a trustee … making this a must-read for anyone acting as trustee or considering becoming one.”
—Susan R. Lipp, Editor-in-Chief, Trusts & Estates
“A great starting point—or refresher—for understanding trusts … I recommend this primer to anyone embarking on being a trustee.”
—Don Kozusko, Partner, Kozusko Harris Duncan, and Fellow, American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel
“At last! A warm and honest voice encouraging the reader in clear-speak (not jargon) exactly how to navigate the daunting world of trusts and money …”
—Charlotte Beyer, Founder, Institute for Private Investors, and author, Wealth Management Unwrapped
“A few people, who embody the virtues of fidelity, caring, and humility, will be asked to be trustees. Patricia Angus has written The Trustee Primer: A Guide for Personal Trustees to offer these people of special character a way of understanding what it means to be a trustee and what acting as trustee entails. She has made a complex legal relationship into a comprehensible set of human and legal relationships that will help every person who might act as a trustee, or who is already serving, become a great trustee. It will also help such great trustees in turn help bring great beneficiaries to life.”
—James E. (Jay) Hughes, Jr., author, Family Wealth: Keeping it in the Family, Family: The Compact Among Generations, and co-author, Family Trusts
“Although Patricia Angus wrote The Trustee Primer primarily for potential and current trustees, it is practical and understandable for people in several stakeholder groups. Parents and grandparents often create trusts primarily to preserve the family’s financial capital without having a deep understanding of the long-term impact of those trusts on their families. Family members and friends are often asked to serve as trustee without really knowing what that entails. Generations of family members are beneficiaries of trusts without much understanding of how their trusts work. Patrica’s primer lays out a logical, step-by-step process for how to think about the opportunities and challenges associated with serving as a trustee. She explains terminology clearly and puts complex law into the context of serving as a trustee. The worksheet incorporated throughout the text is a useful tool to translate the content into the reader’s immediate circumstance and decision-making process. I highly recommend this primer for clients and colleagues.”
—Bonnie Brown Hartley, President, Transition Dynamics Inc, co-author of Family Wealth Transition Planning and co-author of the international thriller Broken Trust