Brief Fact Summary. Mary Gleeson leased farm land to the petitioner, Con Colbrook. Two weeks before the lease expired, Gleeson died. She devised the farm land to The petitioner as trustee for her children. However, the petitioner remained on the property for another year.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A trustee may not deal in his individual capacity with the trust property.
Issue. Whether the petitioner breached his duty of loyalty by holding over before the date that the lease expired to a year later?
Held. Yes. The petitioner dealt individually with the farm land as a tenant and breached his duty of loyalty to the trust. An exception is not made for the petitioner because he held over shortly before the lease expired and farm land tenant are not easy to find. Though the petitioner’s holdover did not damage the property, he is still liable for breach. The petitioner must turn over the profits he made while he remained a tenant at the time that he was the trustee over the farm land, to the trust.
Discussion. The fact that the petitioner’s actions did not harm the land did not absolve him of his duty to refrain from self-dealing.