What is the difference between a Trustor, Settlor, Grantor and a Trustee?
The Trustor (also known as a “Settlor” or a “Grantor”, depending on the attorney’s preference) is the person who creates the Trust (i.e. the person who owns assets, like a home, and wishes to transfer those assets to a Trust). The Trustee is the person in charge of managing and investing Trust assets and making distributions (if the terms of the Trust require it) to the Trust’s beneficiaries.
By analogy, think of a Trust as a small, single shareholder corporation. In this imperfect analogy, the Trustor is the sole shareholder of the corporation and the Trustee is the President of the Corporation. Like this corporation, where all assets owned by the corporation are indirectly owned by the sole shareholder, all assets owned by the Trust are indirectly owned by the Trustor. Similarly, like in a corporation, where all day-to-day decisions of the corporation are made by the President, who has the legal authority to manage, invest, sell, and encumber (to name only a few) corporate assets, the Trustee of the Trust is the person who has these powers with respect to Trust assets.