One of the most fundamental duties of a trustee is the duty of loyalty. The duty of loyalty is well known and has been the subject of numerous books and various law school classes. The duty of loyalty has been fodder for many cases when a beneficiary of the trust has alleged that the trustee breached the duty of loyalty. Missouri law states in part that a trustee shall administer the trust solely in the interests of the beneficiaries.
As stated in the Uniform Trust Code comments to this section, a trustee owes a duty of loyalty to the beneficiaries, a principle which is sometimes expressed as the obligation of the trustee not to place the trustee’s own interests over those of the beneficiaries. The duty of loyalty is the foundation for the relationship that the trustee has with the beneficiaries.