A person or entity granted administrative control of a trust is called a trustee.
If you have been appointed as a trustee in the Sunshine State of Florida, you have obligations under the law regarding administration of the trust.
The most basic such obligation is that you must administer the trust solely for the benefit of the beneficiary.
This responsibility is called a fiduciary duty, and this duty exists alongside other obligations set out by the state of Florida.
To learn more about your obligations as a trustee, contact a Florida trusts and estates attorney with your questions.
Types of trustees
In Florida, you can appoint nearly anyone as a trustee.
Your representative of choice does not have to be a relative or a resident of the state. Frequently, people choose to appoint family members, friends or financial/legal professionals to manage the assets of their trust after death.
The only stipulation is your trustee act in the best interests of the trust’s beneficiaries and that they follow the instructions laid out by the trust’s founder.
Trustee authority and responsibilities
As a trustee, you may have broad or limited authority depending on the instructions of the trust itself.
Your obligations may even extend past the terms spelled out in the trust; properly written trusts will contain a phrase notifying trustees of potential additional duties, but the absence of such a phrase does not invalidate the trust under Florida Trust and Estate Administration code.
Basic obligations of a trustee
The majority of trustee obligations are as follows:
- Holding trust property
- Investing assets of the trust
- Distributing trust income to the beneficiaries
- Making tax-related decisions regarding the trust assets
- Maintaining records of trust-related activity and transactions
- Issuing account statements and tax information to the beneficiaries
- Answering the beneficiaries’ questions
Consult with a Florida trusts and estates attorney
If you have questions about your obligations as a trustee, it is important for you to consult an experienced trusts and estates attorney to avoid running afoul of Florida laws.
At the Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, we serve clients from across the Sunshine State and are prepared to address your legal questions following the death of a loved one.
Call (407) 977-8080 or contact us online to set up a consultation today.