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Protecting beneficiaries through a Florida trust requires the appointment of a trustee. The trustee is responsible for holding trust property and managing the trust assets and income for the good of the beneficiaries. Because the trustee plays such a critical role in ensuring that beneficiaries receive the assets, income, or other benefits the grantor intended, the trustee has a legal duty to manage the trust honestly and responsibly.
Fulfilling that obligation requires more than good intentions—a trustee must educate himself or herself about the legal, financial, and procedural issues surrounding trust administration.
Some of the core duties of a Florida trustee include:
Some of these duties are straightforward, while others may require prescribed forms and procedures that are unfamiliar to an inexperienced trustee.
In addition to the specific listed duties, the trustee has a general fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust. In simplest terms, a fiduciary duty is a duty to put the interests of the beneficiaries ahead of his or her own interests. The trustee must not use the position of trustee to his or her own advantage, but must manage the trust as the grantor intended, for the good of those designated beneficiaries.
When a loved one appoints you as trustee, that person entrusts you with the welfare of his or her beneficiaries. You want to ensure that you do everything in your power to responsibly fulfill your obligations as trustee for the sake of your loved one, and for your own protection.
Unfortunately, many well-intentioned trustees simply don’t have a clear understanding of the duties, accountings and procedures associated with trust administration. A simple mistake can be costly for the beneficiaries, and can leave the trustee legally responsible for losses.
Consulting with an experienced trust administration attorney as early as possible in the process helps to protect both the trustee and the beneficiaries.
Our law firm provides full estate planning services, as well as representation of trustees and personal representatives. We’re here to assist you at every stage of the process.
Give yourself the advantage of knowledgeable guidance right from the start, to keep the trust administration process running smoothly and ensure that you are effectively carrying out your duties as trustee.
Schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable trust attorney now by filling out the form at the bottom of this page or calling 386-320-6169.