According to South Carolina code, is it a conflict of interest to be both the trustee of a trust and a beneficiary of the same trust?

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According to South Carolina code, is it a conflict of interest to be both the trustee of a trust and a beneficiary of the same trust?

I am the trustee to a trust my father established
for my step mother. I am also a beneficiary to
the trust once my step mother passes. I am
reviewing expenses that have been asked for
the trust to cover. However, my step mother
has not provided sufficient detail to determine if
expenses are allowed per the trust.

Asked on January 21, 2018 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

So you are the CONTINGENT beneficiary of the Trust, not the direct beneficiary now.  Is it the best case scenario?  No, because there should always be an outward appearance that things are on the up and up.  But there does not necessarily have to be a a sense of impropriety if you act reasonably under the circumstances.  Trustees have a lot of leeway in making determinations and at the same time must follow the trust guidelines.  You need to weigh things and make rational determinations. You can not withhold funds unreasonably.  I would get some guidance from an attorney.  Good luck.


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