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Coverage Question Series – Part 44
Post on March 1st, 2019
This is a continuing series in which we address policy coverage questions that we routinely discuss with you and your colleagues. The answers provided are based on the basic policy form, currently LPLP-1s (effective for all policies new or renewed as of May 1, 2018). Refer to your specific policy and any endorsements attached thereto that may change coverage or the answers provided here.

I am acting as a trustee of a client’s trust, am I covered?

Yes, but subject to some limitations. A client, based on your trust practice, trusts you to be trustee of their trust. Before you trust that you have coverage from your trusted OBLIC LPL policy, make sure your actions as a trustee do not meet any of the exclusions from coverage.

There is a fair amount of policy language to digest when it comes to determining coverage for acts, errors, or omissions arising from services performed as a trustee for a client. I.COVERAGE, (c) provides the basic statement of coverage. “Acts, errors, or omissions by an Insured lawyer as [a] . . . trustee or in a similar fiduciary capacity, is deemed to be performance of ‘Professional Services.’

However, the policy does not provide coverage for services as a trustee if the “Claim” arises:

  1. solely out of the Insured’s exercise of investment judgment;
  2. regarding any business enterprise or charitable organization if not appointed to such position by a court of competent jurisdiction;
  3. any pension, union, welfare, profit-sharing, mutual, investment fund and/or trust; or,
  4. any fund, trust, or other investment in which any one or more of the following have some beneficial interest: any Insured under this policy, or any spouse, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, child, or any other relative of any Insured under this policy, including, but not limited to in-law, step, foster, adoptive or half relationships;

and except as otherwise excluded or limited by the other terms, conditions and exclusions of this policy. See I.COVERAGE, (c), pg. 2, (underline added).

As you should expect, these Q&A scenarios are based on simple hypotheticals. Coverage determinations for an actual claim are ultimately based on the unique facts, applicable law, and the Terms, Conditions, Limitations, Exclusions, and Endorsements of your policy.
Please contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions!
Carl Marsh, Esq.
Claims Counsel