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.
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:
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.