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Special Skills/Expertise of a Trustee

A trustee owes an array of fiduciary duties to trust beneficiaries. The nature and extent of these duties can potentially be enlarged if the trustee possesses special skills or expertise. Under Section 456.8-806, RSMo, “[a] trustee who has special skills or expertise, or is named trustee in reliance upon the trustee’s representation that the trustee has special skills or expertise, shall use those special skills or expertise.” As of this writing, no Missouri cases appear to discuss what would constitute “special skills or expertise.” It is not difficult to imagine, however, a future case finding that a trustee who has special training in the law, real estate, accounting etc. may be held to a higher standard of conduct on account of such skills/expertise. As such, it is reasonable to conclude that a trustee who has special skills/expertise needs to be especially prudent to act accordingly to navigate breach of trust concerns. 

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