55-1A-32. Prosecution or defense of actions and proceedings.

A trustee may prosecute or defend actions, claims or proceedings for the protection of trust assets or of the trustee in the performance of the trustee's duties. However, a trustee has no duty to prosecute, or to defend or continue to defend the trust or its assets in any action, through exercise of judicial process or otherwise, to reach the assets of the trust in satisfaction of a claim against the trust, a beneficiary or the settlor of a trust unless:

(1)    The trustee is reasonably satisfied that the readily marketable assets of the trust are sufficient to fully indemnify the trustee for all the liabilities and expenses, including professional fees and expense of counsel, accountants, and expert witnesses, that the trustee may incur in so prosecuting or defending the trust or its assets; or

(2)    If the trustee is not satisfied that the settlor or the beneficiaries have provided the trustee with indemnity, supported with such security as may be satisfactory to the trustee in its sole discretion, as is then and will be sufficient to fully indemnify the trustee.

Unless otherwise provided in the trust agreement, a trustee who is no longer serving due to resignation or removal, whether by judicial process or pursuant to the trust agreement, or as a result of the trust terminating, does not have a duty to defend or continue to prosecute or defend the trust or its assets in any action, whether the trust is in existence or not at the time of such action.

Source: SL 1979, ch 336, § 32; SL 2017, ch 204, § 13; SL 2021, ch 207, § 11.