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Serving as Trustee Without a Safety Net

When not obtaining a beneficiary’s consent may be a fiduciary’s best option.

Serving as a trustee requires managing risk. That takes many forms—among them, requesting or requiring the consent of a trust’s beneficiaries before a trustee performs a discretionary act (or, alternatively, a release of liability for doing so). This isn’t to say that a trustee seeks consent to actions it knows would otherwise breach its fiduciary duties; prudent trustees won’t perform a discretionary act if it clearly contravenes the trust’s governing instrument or its duties to the


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