logo
logo

Menu

By: Rebecca Nichols, Esq.

Published at

7 November 2022

Florida Trustee Duties in a Nutshell

What are the fiduciary duties of a trustee? Trustees in Florida have several duties they must adhere to during the administration of any given trust. Failing to fulfill these variousFlorida Trustee Dutiesmay constitute a breach of trust and expose the trustee to liability from legal claims made by beneficiaries.

 

Below is a general list of a Florida trustee’s duties and responsibilities under the Florida Trust Code.

1. Duty to administer the trust.

Upon accepting the role as trustee, the trustee must administer the trust in good faith, per the terms and purposes set forth in the trust agreement, in the best interest of beneficiaries, and in accordance with applicable Florida law.

2. Duty of loyalty.

Trustees are responsible for administering trusts solely in theinterests of the beneficiaries.

3. Duty of impartiality.

Trustees are responsible for administering trusts impartially when there are two or more beneficiaries and must give due regard to each beneficiary’s respective interests.

4. Duty to administer prudently.

Trustees must administer any given trust as a prudent person would. In doing so, the Trustee should consider the purposes, terms, distribution requirements, and other circumstances of the trust. The Trustee shall always exercise reasonable care, skill, and caution in carrying out duties.

5. Duty to incur only reasonable expenses.

Trustees must incur only reasonable costs related toadministering the trustwhile considering the trust assets, the trust purposes, and the trustee’s skills.

6. Duty to use skills or expertise.

A trustee who possesses specific skills or expertise, or gets nominated based on the representation of such abilities, must utilize these special skills or expertise actively.

7. Duty to control and protect trust assets.

Trustees must take reasonable steps to take control of and protect trust assets.

8. Duty to keep records.

Trustees are required to keep clear, distinct, and accurate records during the Administration of the Trust in Florida. Trustees are further required to keep trust property separate from their personal property.

9. Duty to enforce and defend claims.

Trustees are required to take reasonable steps to enforce claims on behalf of the trust and also to defend claims against the trust.

10. Duty to inform.

Trustees are required to keep qualified beneficiaries reasonably informed of the administration of the trust.

11. Duty to account.

In order to maintain transparency, trustees are obligated to furnish a comprehensive trust accounting to each eligible beneficiary, ensuring that this is done on an annual basis, at the very least.


In conclusion, Trustees have several very important duties under the Florida Trust Code. The purpose of these duties is to ensure trustees act in good faith, and fairly and put the interests of the beneficiaries ahead of their own. If a Trustee breaches any of their fiduciary duties to the trust beneficiaries, they could potentially be held individually liable for these breaches of trust.


Please note this post is merely a summary of key Florida Trustee Duties owed by a trustee and should not serve as an exhaustive list or legal advice.


Taking on the responsibility of a trustee could prove to be highly demanding and intricate. Particularly for someone who is trying to cope with the bereavement of a dear one or going through challenging family situations.


Under the terms of most trust agreements, trustees are entitled to hire aTrust Administration Lawyer in Florida.To assist with the administration of the trust the legal fees are paid for out of the trust assets, not the trustee’s personal account. Here at e-Estates and Trusts, PLLC, we have years of experience guiding trustees through the administration process. Don’t go it alone… we welcome you to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced probate and Trust Administration attorneys.


Disclosure: The information contained in this website and blog is of a general nature and is not intended in any way to answer individual legal questions. If you have a legal question concerning your individual circumstances, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our firm to schedule a conference with one of our experienced attorneys. Your review of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor any legal privileges relating thereto.


Disclosure: The information contained in this website and blog is of a general nature and is not intended in any way to answer individual legal questions. If you have a legal question concerning your individual circumstances, please contact our firm to schedule a conference with one of our experienced attorneys. Your review of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor any legal privileges relating thereto. Offices in Ocala and Sebring.

©Copyright 2023 by e-Estatesandtrusts.com All Rights Reserved.