Brian O’Connell Discusses Assisting Trustees with Obligations of a Fiduciary

Brian M. O’Connell, Estate Litigation and Trust Lawyer

December 16, 2020

West Palm Beach Estate Litigation and Trust Lawyer

Learn more about the fiduciary responsibilities of estate trustees. Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell West Palm Beach helps clients in this role for the first time. 


Trust administration involves a number of responsibilities including protecting, and testing, safeguarding, and managing the assets of beneficiaries. Brian O’Connell discusses the fiduciary responsibilities of estate trustees. Sometimes, beneficiaries challenge trustees who fail in their duties as administrators of a fund. Learn more about the duties of a trustee when it comes to the fiduciary rights of beneficiaries.


Trustees are legally bound to exercise certain fiduciary duties, according to Brian O’Connell, a West Palm Beach Estate Litigation and Trust Lawyer. He explains the major duties trusteeship familiarize themselves with.


Brian O’Connell Discusses Different Fiduciary Duties

Brian O’Connell is an Estate Litigation and Trust Lawyer who advises clients on their rights and obligations regarding real estate trusts. Here are the various types of fiduciary duties assumed by the trustee:


  • Loyalty: Trustees represent beneficiaries’ interests regarding the property in trust. Trustees must act in the best interest of their client and not their own interests. This means that trustees cannot take funds from the trust for their personal gain.
  • Care: When acting on the beneficiary’s behalf, the trustee must use due care and diligence. Settlors typically asked that a trustee invest money in the estate so that it will grow overtime. Trustees must make reasonable decisions regarding the investment of funds and research the risk and rewards carefully.
  • Segregate Funds: This duty explains that a trustee cannot mix money from the estate funds with their own assets. if the trustee fails to perform this duty, the funds are distributed to the beneficiaries, says O’Connel, a  Palm Beach Estate Litigation and Trust Lawyer.
  • Safeguard: Beneficiaries can hold a trustee accountable for preserving assets in the estate. Trustees must secure assets and money to avoid that. This includes installing anti-virus and malware software to discourage hackers.
  • Invest: Trustees are responsible for growing the wealth of assets in their care. They must exercise skill in determining what investments will help the fund grow.
  • Accounting: This duty requires trustees to keep records of financial transactions.


Trustees, beneficiaries, and grantors can seek the assistance of an experienced West Palm Beach Estate Litigation and Trust Lawyer. Brian O’Connell is a principal of Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell Palm Beach. He assists clients with understanding how trusts work and challenges trustees who fail their fiduciary duty.