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Delaware Laws | Title 12 Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations
Subchapter VII. Liability of Trustees and Rights of Persons Dealing With Trustee

Sec. 3584. Attorneys' fees and costs. (3991)(Text)

In a judicial proceeding involving a trust, the court, as justice and equity may require, may award costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees, to any party, to be paid by another party or from the trust that is the subject of the controversy. (3992)

(72 Del. Laws, c. 388, Sec. 7.) (3993)

Sec. 3585. Limitation of action against trustee following trustee's report. (3994)(Text)

(a) A beneficiary may initiate a proceeding against a trustee for breach of trust until the first to occur of: (3995)

(1) Two years after the date the beneficiary was sent a report that adequately disclosed the facts constituting a claim; or (3996)

(2) The date the proceeding was otherwise precluded by adjudication, release, consent or limitation. (3997)

(b) A report adequately discloses the facts constituting a claim if it provides sufficient information so that the beneficiary knows of the claim or reasonably should have inquired into its existence. (3998)

(c) For the purpose of subsection (a) of this section, a beneficiary is deemed to have been sent a report if: (3999)

(1) In the case of a beneficiary having capacity, it is sent to the beneficiary; or (4000)

(2) In the case of a beneficiary who under Sec. 3547 of this title may be represented and bound by another person, it is sent to the other person. (4001)

(d) If subsection (a) of this section does not apply, a judicial proceeding by a beneficiary against a trustee for breach of trust must be commenced within 5 years after the first to occur of: (4002)

(1) The removal, resignation, or death of the trustee; (4003)

(2) The termination of the beneficiary's interest in the trust; or (4004)

(3) The termination of the trust. (4005)

(e) This section does not preclude an action to recover for fraud or misrepresentation related to the report. (4006)

(72 Del. Laws, c. 388, Sec. 7; 76 Del. Laws, c. 254, Sec. 15.) (4007)

Sec. 3586. Reliance on trust instrument. (4008)(Text)

A trustee who acted in good faith reliance on the terms of a written trust instrument is not liable to a beneficiary for a breach of trust to the extent the breach resulted from the reliance. (4009)

(72 Del. Laws, c. 388, Sec. 7.) (4010)

Sec. 3587. Events affecting administration or distribution. (4011)(Text)

Whenever the happening of an event, including marriage, divorce, performance of education requirements or death, affects the administration or distribution of a trust, a trustee who has exercised reasonable care to ascertain the happening of the event is not liable for a loss resulting from the trustee's lack of knowledge. (4012)

(72 Del. Laws, c. 388, Sec. 7.) (4013)

Sec. 3588. Beneficiary's consent, release, or ratification. (4014)(Text)

Whether or not the consent, release, or ratification is supported by consideration, a beneficiary may not hold a trustee liable for a breach of trust if the beneficiary, while having capacity, consented to the conduct constituting the breach, released the trustee from liability for the breach, or ratified the transaction constituting the breach, unless: (4015)

(1) The consent, release or ratification of the beneficiary was induced by improper conduct of the trustee; or (4016)

(2) At the time of the consent, release or ratification, the beneficiary did not know of: (4017)

a. The beneficiary's rights; or (4018)

b. Material facts the trustee knew or should have known with the exercise of reasonable inquiry. (4019)

(72 Del. Laws, c. 388, Sec. 7; 75 Del. Laws, c. 300, Sec. 4.) (4020)

Sec. 3589. Limitation on personal liability of trustee. (4021)(Text)

Repealed by 73 Del. Laws, c. 409, Sec. 3, effective July 10, 2002. (4022)

Sec. 3590. Protection of person dealing with trustee. (4023)(Text)

(a) A person other than a beneficiary who in good faith assists a trustee or who in good faith and for value deals with a trustee without knowledge that the trustee is exceeding or improperly exercising the trustee's powers is protected from liability as if the trustee properly exercised the power. (4024)

(b) A person other than a beneficiary who in good faith deals with another person knowing that the other person is a trustee is not required to inquire into the extent of the trustee's powers or the propriety of their exercise. (4025)

(c) A person who in good faith delivers assets to a trustee need not ensure their proper application. (4026)

(d) A person other than a beneficiary who in good faith assists a former trustee or who for value and in good faith deals with a former trustee without knowledge that the trusteeship has terminated is protected from liability as if the former trustee were still a trustee. (4027)

(e) The protection provided by this section to persons assisting or dealing with a trustee is superseded by comparable protective provisions of other laws relating to commercial transactions or to the transfer of securities by fiduciaries. (4028)

(72 Del. Laws, c. 388, Sec. 7; 73 Del. Laws, c. 409, Sec. 3.) (4029)

Sec. 3591. Certification of trust. (4030)(Text)

(a) Instead of providing a person other than a beneficiary with a copy of the trust instrument, a trustee may provide the person with a certification of trust containing statements concerning, but not limited to, the following matters: (4031)

(1) The existence of the trust and the date of execution of the trust instrument; (4032)

(2) The identity of the trustor or trustors and of the currently acting trustee or trustees of the trust; (4033)

(3) The powers of the trustee; (4034)

(4) The revocability or irrevocability of the trust and the identity of any person holding a power to revoke the trust; (4035)

(5) The authority of co-trustees to sign and whether all or less than all are required to sign in order to exercise powers of the trustee; (4036)

(6) The trust's taxpayer identification number; and (4037)

(7) The manner in which title to trust property may be taken. (4038)

(b) A certification of trust must be in the form of an acknowledged writing and may be signed by any trustee. (4039)

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