The trustee has certain duties with regards to administering the trust. These duties are called Fiduciary Duties. The fiduciary duties can be spelled out in the trust but there are also fiduciary duties that are spelled out in the Missouri Uniform Trust Code. There are four main general fiduciary duties, they are:
- Duty to Administer the Trust;
- Duty of Loyalty;
- Duty of Impartiality; and
- Duty of Prudent Administration
In addition to the four general fiduciary duties set forth in the Missouri Uniform Trust Code, the trustee has a duty to give personal attention to trust administration. The fiduciary relationship between the trustee and the beneficiaries was classically defined as a personal relationship and non-delegable. The modern theory is that some powers of the administration of the trust may be delegated to an agent, provided however, that the trustee retains supervision over the agent. Missouri law provides in part, that a trustee may delegate to an agent duties and powers that a prudent trustee of comparable skill could properly delegate under the circumstances. The trustee shall exercise reasonable care, skill and caution in:
- Selecting an agent;
- Establishing the scope and terms of the delegation, consistent with the purposes and terms of the trust; and
- Periodically reviewing the agent’s actions in order to monitor the agent’s performance and compliance with the terms of the delegation.
In delegating any authority, the trustee must make sure that he or she is not violating one of the other fiduciary duties.