• Trust Administration

    According to Florida law, Trusts may be created only to the extent that the purposes of the Trust are lawful, not contrary to public policy and possible to achieve. A Trust and its terms must be for the benefit of its beneficiaries. Our firm has extensive experience in creating, managing, and advising trusts for clients.

     

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    The administration of a Trust is much like running a business. Sound management, adherence to specific operating rules and effective communication are all required to do the job correctly & competently.

     

    There are three (3) parties to every Trust: (i) the creator of the Trust is referred to as the Settlor or Grantor, (ii) the party who holds legal title to the trust property (corpus) is called the Trustee, and (iii) the party who receives the benefit of the Trust is called the Beneficiary.

    The Trustee invests the Trust property (corpus); collects the income therefrom; distributes income and/or principal to the Beneficiary, and files Accountings showing what has been received and paid out of the Trust each year.

    Tax returns are required to be filed by the Trustee each year. (IRS Form 1041)

    In doing the job of the Trustee in Florida, certain rules (established by statute) govern investments (The Prudent Investor Rule); the determination of what is income and what is principal (The Principal and Income Act) and the overall rules of Trust administration (The Florida Trust Code) which combine to impose a series of duties (called Fiduciary Duties) on every Trustee.

    Generally speaking, there are fifteen (15) duties that Trustees owe to Beneficiaries of a Trust as follows:

    1. Duty of Loyalty
    2. Duty to Deal Impartially with Beneficiaries
    3. Duty to Take Trust Property and Keep Control of It
    4. Duty to Keep Trust Property Segregated
    5. Duty to Preserve and Protect Trust Property
    6. Duty to Make Trust Property Productive
    7. Duty to Pay Income (timely) to Beneficiaries
    8. Duty to Keep and Render Accounts
    9. Duty to Furnish Information (on request)
    10. Duty to Exercise Reasonable Skill and Care
    11. Duty Not to Delegate
    12. Duty to Enforce Claims
    13. Duty to Defend Actions
    14. Duty Concerning Co-Trustees
    15. Duty with Respect to Individuals Having Control Powers

    Together these duties represent the essential elements of Trust Administration.

    A more detailed description of each of the above fifteen (15) duties that Trustees owe to Beneficiaries of a Trust can be found here: Trustee Duties Expanded (1-15)

    The key elements of Trust Administration in Florida are broken down for your convenience into the following easy to understand areas. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge and past experience practicing for over 20 years in all of the areas below.

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    If you or a loved one needs help with a situation involving one of these areas, please contact Thomas N. Silverman, P.A. at 561.775.7500 (24 hours) or info@FloridaProbateCounsel.com.

    Thank you for contacting our firm. One of our associates will be in contact with you shortly. If the matter is urgent, please call our office directly at 561.775.7500 to speak with an attorney.