We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Corporate Trustee?

By J. R. Prince
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A corporate trustee is a business corporation, often a bank or similar financial institution, that manages other people's property which is held in trust. Trusts are legal vehicles in which one person, the trustee, manages money, property, and other assets for the benefit of a beneficiary. The beneficiary may be the owner of that property or may be a person for whom the owner wants to provide. The trustee is obligated to manage the property exclusively or solely on the beneficiary's behalf.

Trusts are often set up by one family member, such as a parent, to take care of other family members, typically children. A corporate trustee may be chosen both for its expertise in handling money and property and because it is a neutral actor outside of the family. Corporate trustees also provide professional record keeping with expertise in distribution accounting, i.e., maintaining accurate records of how money made on trust investments is distributed to the beneficiary or beneficiaries. Such accounting is especially important when there is a large trust and many beneficiaries.

Trusts were first developed centuries ago in England, and virtually all common law legal systems have well-established trust laws on the books. These laws provide a great deal of guidance about what a trustee may and may not do with trust property. These laws and regulations require the trustee to manage the property according to the terms established for the trust.

Perhaps the most important aspect of trust law, however, is its emphasis on the trustee's fiduciary duty to the beneficiary. The trustee is legally bound to manage the property in the best interests of the beneficiary. As a fiduciary, the trustee has a duty to manage that property with reasonable care and in utmost good faith and loyalty to the beneficiary. Trustees cannot consider their own self interest when deciding how to manage the trust.

It is often common practice to choose both an individual trustee and a corporate trustee. The individual trustee may be a member of the family of the person or persons who established the trust and provides the family's perspective in managing the trust. On the other hand, the corporate trustee provides professional management expertise. Just as important, the corporate trustee brings a more neutral, business-like approach to managing trust property. Both the individual and the corporate trustee have the same obligation to manage the trust property to the best of their ability on the beneficiary's behalf.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.