Trustee Record Keeping Duty

A trustee is required to “keep adequate records of the administration of the trust.” Section 456.8-810, RSMo. This is closely related to the duties to act with prudence and report and inform to the beneficiaries. Failure to follow any of these duties is a breach of trust. It could lead to a damages claim. If it is a serious breach of trust, it could result in the trustee’s removal. “Adequate,” in this context, is undefined. It depends on the circumstances and the assets involved.

A trustee has a concurrent duty to “keep trust property separate from the trustee’s own property.” Section 456.8-810.2, RSMo. Put differently, a trustee cannot mingle trust assets with the trustee’s own separate assets. There is, however, a distinction between reimbursement and mingling. For example, a trustee may obtain reimbursement from the trust for “expenses that were properly incurred in the administration of the trust.” Section 456.7-709.1, RSMo.

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