<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Trustee Duty: Act in the Best Interest of the Beneficiary</span>

Trustee Duty: Act in the Best Interest of the Beneficiary

A trust can be a very effective, valuable tool.  It also invites fights in the courtroom.  One of the primary issues litigated in trusts is the conduct of the trustee while acting on behalf of the trust.
The trustee is analogous to the President of the company.  The trustee has a fiduciary duty to handle the trust's assets prudently.  Last week the Minnesota Supreme Court again affirmed that the trustee must at all times act with the best interests of the beneficiary in mind.  That's a critical re-affirmation of this standard.
The standard, while clear, is flexible in application.  If your trustee is in Stillwater and the beneficiary in Hugo, should the trustee know about Hugo events?  If White Bear Lake passes the Rush Line and that adversely affects the living conditions or value of the trust's assets, should the trustee act?  The exact answers cannot be provided here, but those types of questions should be prominent in your analysis of the trustee's action (or inaction).
A trust was not set up to pay attorneys to fight.  I approach trust litigation with the goal of a swift, economical, and proper outcome that balances use of trust assets with reasonable resolution.  If that motto works for you, I encourage you to call to discuss your situation and whether the trustee has breached her duty to the trust.

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