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A Trustee must administer the trust solely in the interests of the beneficiaries, and must not act in conflict against the trust beneficiaries. This is the crux of the statutory duty of loyalty codified by Section 736.0802 of the Florida Trust Code.

The statutory duty of loyalty restricts the ability of a trustee to engage in transactions affected by a conflict of interest by declaring that any sale, encumbrance or other transaction involving the investment or management of trust property may be voidable by the beneficiaries where such transaction was affected by a conflict between the trustee’s fiduciary and personal interests. In other words, a trustee cannot act in his or her own self-interest at the expense of the beneficiaries.

Pursuant to the statute, a sale, encumbrance or other transaction is presumed to be affected by a conflict of interest if it is entered into by a trustee with the trustee’s spouse; relatives of the trustee; officers, directors, employees, agents or attorneys of the trustee; or a corporation in which the trustee has an interest.