A trustee can be anyone, including a corporate entity. Many law firms or banks and financial organizations operate as trustees for clients who wish to designate them as trustees of their trust. Generally, corporate trustees such as these will charge a fee for such service. Any trusted individual can be named as a trustee and they must follow the directions given within the trust, with limited exceptions.
Question- Can a trustee ever violate the terms of a trust and distribute assets to a beneficiary before the trust instructs them to do so?
There are limited instances where a trustee can ignore the terms of a trust and distribute to a beneficiary. Where failing to distribute would frustrated the ultimate purpose of the trust, the trustee may be authorized to distribute to a beneficiary to ensure that the ultimate goal the creator was hoping to achieve is not frustrated by an unforeseen change in circumstance.