In a Florida trust, the trustor (or settlor) transfers the nominal ownership of property to a trustee to benefit a list of beneficiaries. The trustee’s mission is to hold the property on behalf of one or multiple beneficiaries, only acting within the scope established by the trustor in the trust instrument.
In this article, you will understand the role of a Florida trustee and the compensation associated with this role.
Understanding Trusts in Florida – What is the Role of a Trustee?
Trusts are valuable legal tools for estate planning and business purposes. There are three roles in this type of arrangement – trustor, the trustee, and the beneficiary.
Without a trustee, there is no possibility to create trust, as the key purpose of a trust is to transfer ownership from the original holder of an asset to the arrangement. The trustee is the individual responsible for administering a trust for the purposes specified in the trust instrument.
The trust instrument is the most important document of the arrangement, as it outlines all the terms and conditions of the trust’s existence, such as providing the trustee’s duties and powers, listing the beneficiaries, and imposing the conditions for the distribution of the assets held in the trust.
Florida law establishes a strict set of requirements that trustees must fulfill. A trustee has a fiduciary duty to the trust and its beneficiaries, which means he or she can only act in their best interests.
Trustees have a long list of duties, including the duty to administer the trust efficiently, loyalty, impartiality, prudent administration, and the obligation to inform and account.
Florida Trustee Fees – In Detail
Trustees who faithfully uphold their fiduciary duty are entitled to compensation for the time and effort applied to administering a trust. Usually, the trust instrument has provisions to set forth the trustee’s due compensation.
In many cases, the trustor may work with a Florida attorney to sign a separate agreement with the trustee to establish an agreed-upon amount of compensation.
Florida Statutes §736.0708 (1) expressly states that “if the terms of a trust do not specify the trustee’s compensation, a trustee is entitled to compensation that is reasonable under the circumstances.”
Depending on the terms and conditions of the trust instrument, statutory rules may require court intervention to determine the amount of compensation to be paid to a Florida trustee.
Under Florida Statutes §§736.0708 (2), “if the terms of a trust specify the trustee’s compensation, the trustee is entitled to be compensated as specified, but the court may allow more or less compensation if:
- The duties of the trustee are substantially different from those contemplated when the trust was created
- The compensation specified by the terms of the trust would be unreasonably low or high, or
- If the trustee has rendered other services in connection with the administration of the trust, the trustee shall also be allowed reasonable compensation for the other services rendered in addition to reasonable compensation as trustee”
In most cases, trustee fees in Florida range from 1% to 3% of the total value of the assets held in the trust. The larger the trust, the higher the administration fees will likely be.
Handling Trustee’s Fees in Florida – Immediately Work with an Expert Legal Counselor
With years of experience in probate law and estate planning, Attorney Romy B. Jurado willingly wants to help you succeed. Contact us by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing Romy@juradolawfirm.com to find a cost-efficient solution for your case.