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A Dichotomy of Fiduciary Duties for the Trustee-Manager

ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law

Timothy M. Ferges

Where a fiduciary serves as trustee and simultaneously manages a business entity owned by the trust, the fiduciary serves in dual fiduciary capacities. This “trustee-manager” owes fiduciary obligations to the trust beneficiaries both in his capacity as trustee and in his capacity as business manager. This dual fiduciary status raises a question—what law governs the trustee-manager’s conduct? Is the trustee-manager’s conduct governed by the law of trust and estate administration, the law of business management, or some combination of the two?

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