Trustee with Special Skills — Charles W. Ranson

Choosing a trustee can be a stressful process. A trustee is a law professional like an attorney, investment advisor, or wealth management expert with special skills or expertise that takes care of administering a trust. Their main job is to manage the trust property prudently and responsibly for the beneficiaries and parties involved. Trustees are held to a high standard when dealing with clients and their personal accounts and assets as it can carry the potential for legal accountability.

Below video shares some insights on this topic.

“Not all trustees possess the same skills to administer a trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Corporate trustees are professionally trained and supervised to administer the trust. If a trust administered by a corporate trustee has unique assets that fall outside of the expertise of the corporate trustee under the prudent investor rule a corporate trustee may engage a third-party expert to assist in the administration and management of the unique asset. This is as long as the corporate trustee prudently engages the expert and supervises the administration and management of the third-party expert.

“In the case of individual trustees, if they have no experience for example managing a portfolio of securities, the individual trustee should engage an expert to advise the trustee in the management of the trust property. A registered investment advisor who is a fiduciary should advise an individual trustee of the prudent management of the portfolio for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

“Individual trustees with no asset management experience that fail to engage experts to expose themselves to undue risk and liability as the trust beneficiaries may claim the trustee failed to prudently manage the trust property.

“In some cases grantor’s name attorneys, accountants, or trusted family advisors who have experience in managing trust professionally. Individuals serving as trustees with certain special skills are considered to have special skills and must apply those skills in administering the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. A trustee with special skills that fail to apply those skills in the administrative management of a trust may be liable to the beneficiary for a breach of fiduciary duty.”


About Charles W. Ranson: Charles is a wealth management expert witness with decades of experience in financial services. He provides expert witness and litigation consulting services to attorneys who represent clients involved in legal disputes between financial institutions, trustees, beneficiaries, private foundations, family offices, and ultrahigh net worth investors.



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