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A trust administrator, or trustee, is any person or entity that holds money or assets in trust for the benefit of others. Trust administrator jobs may be found at banks or other financial institutions, law firms, or in the non-profit sector. The duties of trust administrator jobs will vary according to the specific requirements of the trust instrument, a type of contract that establishes who the trust is for and how it will be disbursed.
A trust typically involves three parties. The trustor is the person or entity who creates the trust with money or assets. The beneficiary or beneficiaries are the people for whom the trust is created, for instance, a minor child. The trust administrator oversees the trust and invests or disburses the assets for the benefit of the beneficiary according to the specific guidelines set forth in the trust.
Many trust administrator jobs are within banks and other financial institutions. Some banks have an entire department dedicated to trust administration. These professionals handle multiple individual, corporate, or charity trusts. Trust administration includes reading and understanding the trust document and sometimes investing the funds to earn additional interest during the trust period. The trust administrator will also be responsible for disbursing trust funds to the beneficiaries, either in regular intervals or as a lump sum at the end of the trust period.
Trust administrator jobs may also be found at law firms. Trusts are often drawn up by attorneys who are skilled in applicable trust laws. Since trusts are sometimes established as part of a will, the attorney handling the will may serve as a trust administrator on either a temporary or permanent basis. In the case of bankruptcy, attorneys often appointed to act as trustees, ensuring that the debtor's money or assets are collected, sold, and the proceeds paid to creditors according to the applicable bankruptcy laws.
In some cases, the trust document will establish a non-profit organization as the entity which will serve to administer the trust. The trust administrator in this case may be employed by the non-profit organization. Smaller non-profits often delegate this authority to banks or attorneys because of their legal expertise.
Trust administrator jobs generally require at least a two-year college degree, and many require a four-year bachelor's degree or higher. Attorney administrators naturally hold a law degree in addition to a bachelor's degree. Trust administrators may also have education and training in accounting, law, banking and finance, accounting, or general business.