Does the creator/manager/beneficiary have the ability to use checks, cards and pull cash from the account without the signature of the trustee?
Yes, if the trustee has signed a minute giving the manager that power. But keep in mind, one person can wear different hats. If the creator, beneficiary, and manager are the same person, it would be in the role of manager that this person would be exercising that power. This is because the creator will have relinquished authority at the beginning of the creation of the trust, and the beneficiary role is a passive one, not an active one. So regardless of whether it is the same person, it is only as manager that one would be executing banking transactions and other trust business. Or if the individual who set up the trust has arranged it so that someone else is the creator and the individual who set it up is the managing trustee, then that is the person who can be the signatory on the account.