ETC Texas Pipeline v. Addison Exploration, 582 S.W.3d 823 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2019, pet. filed).


Trust Intent

In a complex oil and gas case, one of the parties contended that because another party was designated as a “trustee” in a confidentiality agreement, that a trust relationship was created which would impose fiduciary duties on that party. The appellate court explained that merely designating a party as a trustee does not create a trust. “For there to be a valid trust, the beneficiary, the res, and the trust purpose must be identified.” Id. at 840. The court reviewed the provision in the agreement and quickly determined that it did not identify any specific property to be held in trust.


Moral:  Designating someone a trustee does not necessarily make the person a trustee unless the elements of a real trust are satisfied.