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What Does a Trust Officer Do?

Andrew Kirmayer
By Andrew Kirmayer
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A trust officer works in the financial industry as an employee of a bank, an investment manager, an accountant, or even a lawyer. The job typically involves the management of finances, property, or other assets like funds related to someone’s pension or a profit-sharing plan of a corporation. Direct communication with the parties involved in the trust is usually necessary. The financial professional can open and close accounts, create annual reports, as well as prepare account statements and tax returns. Education, professional experience, and certification are generally required to get a trust officer job.

Activities associated with starting a personal or corporate trust are most often handled by a trust officer. Such financial arrangements can be created with a set of terms, but can also be laid out under the demands of a will or court order. The drafting process for these documents is usually conducted with an attorney present. A lawyer often helps create the legal documents that specify the conditions and length of the trust, before any account is filled with funds or assets.

If the trust is created by a court order, job duties often include interviews with beneficiaries. These parties can be designated by court order and help to locate and identify the assets involved in the agreement. Assets can also be consolidated through negotiations with local or regional public agencies. A trust officer job is often to collect earnings from wages or sales of assets and put them into the account. These collections can also include dividends and other funds that may be collected; the disbursing of funds and management of any surpluses are often part of the job as well.

Trust officers sometimes manage estates, and are often the executors following the death of an owner. How the estate is managed usually depends on the terms expressed in the person’s will. On a more basic level, the trust officer often handles account deposits and withdrawals and keeps records for the processing of financial statements and annual reports.

Certification by a local or regional organization is sometimes a part of trust officer requirements. Acquiring such certification is often dependent on education at the bachelor’s degree level, as well as some experience in the banking industry. Knowledge in tax law, investment, financial planning, and financial ethics is usually necessary. A certification body can also require specific training programs to be completed by applicants. Letters of recommendation can be requested before a trust officer takes a certification exam as well.

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