Trustee Legal Definition:

A person who holds property rights for the benefit of another.

Related Terms: Executor , Trust , Beneficiary , Donor , Personal Representative , Settlor , Fiduciary

In Smith v Andrews, Master Jessels used these words:

"A trustee is a man who is the owner of the property and deals with it as principal, as owner, and as master, subject only to an equitable obligation to account to some persons to whom he stands as trustee, and who are his cestui que trust."

The difficulty in the above definition is that the trustee is not the owner of the trust property. The trust owns the trust property; the trustee but the manager or administrator of it.

In Halsbury's Laws of England, 4th Edition (2007), the editors describe a trustee as:

"The trustee holds the property or must exercise his rights of property in a fiduciary capacity, and stands in a fiduciary relationship to the beneficiary."

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