We are working remotely and all of us continue to be available by telephone or email. In alignment with national, state and local initiatives as it relates to the coronavirus, we remain open for business and have changed the way we are working for the health and well-being of our employees, and you, our valued clients and colleagues. Read more

Mason & Helmers
We Welcome Your Call
  • Phone 651-323-2548
  • Toll Free 877-389-5533

What is a trustee's fiduciary duty?

When a person in Minnesota sets up a trust, they will name a certain individual as the trustee. This is an important role that comes with significant responsibilities. Most trustees want to properly fulfill their role as trustee, including the fiduciary duty they have to the trust beneficiaries.

Having a fiduciary duty when it comes to trust administration means the trustee is legally in control of the trust assets, but the beneficiaries still retain equitable title to the trust assets. Per the trustee's fiduciary duty, the trustee is obligated to handle the trust assets in a manner that serves the best interests of the beneficiaries. Therefore, it is important to understand what a fiduciary duty is.

When a person has a fiduciary duty to another party, this means that the fiduciary must act solely in a manner that benefits that party. It is a legal obligation. It is essential to make sure that the fiduciary does not have a conflict of interest with regards to his or her duties to the other party. In general, the fiduciary is not to be paid for fulfilling this role, unless the other party explicitly allows the fiduciary to be paid at the start of the relationship between the fiduciary and the other party.

Sometimes fiduciary issues arise. The fiduciary could be accused of self-dealing or mismanaging trust assets. Other fiduciary issues include not following the terms of the trust itself or committing a fraudulent act. Trustees must make sure they fully understand their duties, so they can avoid making mistakes that could lead to trust litigation.

Being selected as a trustee is an honor, but it is important for trustees to understand what is expected of them. Breaching one's fiduciary duty could lead to undesirable consequences. Such a breach can harm both the trustee and the trust beneficiaries. If a trustee is unsure of what his or her duties are, he or she will want to seek the help needed to ensure he or she complies with the legalities of being a trustee.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

For Assistance with Estate Disputes & Other Matters, Contact Us

To learn more about the firm and how we can assist you,
contact Mason & Helmers in St. Paul, Minnesota. Call 651-323-2548 or 877-389-5533 (toll free) to set up an appointment.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review
rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

Contact Our Attorneys

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response
Mason & Helmers

Mason & Helmers
332 Minnesota Street
Suite W-3070
St. Paul, MN 55101

Toll Free: 877-389-5533
Phone: 651-323-2548
St. Paul Law Office Map