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Trustee

trust, trustees, liable and estate

TRUSTEE, in law, a person to whom property is legally committed in trust, to be ap plied either for the benefit of specified individ uals or for public uses. The person for whom or in whose favor the trustee holds the estate, or any interest therein, is called the cestui que trust. Trusts are generally raised by marriage settlements or by wills. The ordinary trusts in the former case, as to real estate, are, in the first place, for securing to the wife payment of her pin-money during marriage, and of her jointure on her becoming a widow; then for raising the stipulated provisions for younger children, and also for providing for their main tenance while minors. Trusts are commonly raised in wills for the maintenance or advance ment and portioning of children. Trustees may be declared verbally as regards personal estate, hut as to land, writing is necessary. No one is compelled to undertake a trust, but if he once accept he cannot renounce it unless the trust deed contains a provision enabling him to do so, or by the consent of all those beneficially inter ested in the estate. Trustees are bound to act in strict accordance with the terms of the trust, and are liable for the consequences of any breach of trust. However, courts may relieve a trustee from personal liability, either wholly or partly, if he has acted honestly and reasonably. They

are accountable for the interest which they do or might make from the employment of the money in their possession, as also for the whole profits they may derive from trading with the trust fund. As their office is considered purely hon orary, they are not entitled to any allowance for their trouble in connection with the trust. Trustees are liable for any misapplication of the trust fund arising either from ignorance of facts which they might by common diligence have known, or from ignorance of the law in any case, even though they may have acted in good faith and in reliance on the opinion of eminent legal advisers; but they may apply for advice by petition to a judge or by summons to a judge, and so be absolved from responsi bility. The estates of trustees deceased are liable in the case of fraudulent administration. The appropriation of the trust fund by the trustee to his own use makes him liable to prosecution and punishment by imprisonment. There is a growing tendency to leave such trus teeships to trust companies.