In this case, an individual (as settlor) had an attorney establish a trust for her and wanted the attorney to name himself as trustee. The trust contained three insurance policies on the settlor's life totaling about $8.5 million. The policies were payable on death to the trustee for the benefit of the settlor's four daughters. The trust said that the trustee had no duty to pay the insurance premiums, had no duty to notify the beneficiaries of nonpayment of the premiums and had no liability for any nonpayment. The trustee was required by the trust language, however, to provide annual reports to the beneficiaries. The trustee executed all three insurance policy applications with each one identifying the trust as the policy owner. On each policy application, the trustee gave the insurer a false trust address. After paying premiums for two years, the policies lapsed for non-payment of premiums. Neither the settlor, trustee nor beneficiaries received notice of the lapse until two years later - the notices of nonpayment were sent to the false address. The settlor paid over $250,000 to an insurance agent who did not forward the payment to the insurers. The daughters sued the trustee for breach of trustee duties and damages. The trial court dismissed the case for failure to state a claim. On further review, the court reversed. The court determined that under Neb. Rev. Stat. Sec. 30-3805 the trustee's duty to act in good faith trumps the effect of any exculpatory term contained in the trust. In addition, Neb. Rev. Stat. Sec. 30-3866 is required to administer the trust in good faith with its terms and purposes and the interests of the beneficiaries, and in accordance with the Code. The trustee, under state law, is also required to keep the beneficiaries reasonably informed of the trust assets. The court also determined that the trustee failed to adequately explain the trust's exculpatory language to the settlor. Rafert v. Meyer, 859 N.W.2d 332, 290 Neb. 219 (2015).
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