Acting as a Trustee can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Our office has the ability to assist Trustees in the management and/or liquidation of trusts.
As a Trustee for a Florida trust, you will need to comply with both the terms of the trust as well as Florida’s statutory requirements. You will also need to address tax concerns and ensure that the language of the trust is followed.
Some of the Trustee’s responsibilities include:
- Maintaining their fiduciary responsibility to all beneficiaries. As a Trustee, you have the duty to ensure the interests of the beneficiaries are put first.
- Trust Accounting.Many Trusts require an annual accounting as well as when requested by beneficiaries. Depending on the size of the trust, an account may need to get involved, but with smaller trusts, an informal accounting may be sufficient.
- Protect the trust assets.It is your responsibility to ensure the safety of the Trust’s assets. You may be personally liable for negligence in handling the assets.
- Keep Trust assets separate.It is extremely important that Trust assets are not comingled with your own personal funds. This is a breach of the fiduciary duty and could create problems for both the beneficiaries and the Trustee.
- Terms of the Trust. It is the Trustee’s responsibility to follow the language of the Trust and the wishes of the decedent. When necessary, judicial modification of the Trust may be available, but not under all circumstances.
- Invest in a prudent manner.You may be required to invest the Trust assets. As a trustee, your job may involve investing trust assets. If so, you must invest as prudently as possible. Investing in risky investments could be a breach of your fiduciary duty.
- Make a conscious effort to avoid self-enrichment and conflicts of interest. As a trustee, you must avoid even the appearance of any conflict of interest or self-enrichment. You also cannot make withdrawals from the trust for personal use, or distribute assets to others unless the trust either allows or requires those activities.
Our firm has expertise to handle all Trust Administrations, from small estates to those over the estate inheritance tax threshold. Call us today for a free consultation.