Trust Administration Overview

Trust Administration is the process of taking care of a trust after the person who set it up has passed away. It’s an important part of planning for the future and involves tasks like dividing assets, handling taxes, and keeping records. A chosen person, called the trustee, is in charge of this process, making sure that the people benefiting from the trust are taken care of and that the wishes of the person who created the trust are followed.

When dealing with trusts and estate planning in Florida, the workings of the Trust Administration process might seem complex. Let’s break it down.

If a Revocable Living Trust is designed and funded correctly, it could remove the necessity for probate when the settlor dies. Typically, a Trustee named in the Trust Agreement takes charge of the trust administration. If assets are properly designated to the trust or slated to transfer into the trust upon the settlor’s death, the successor trustee gains almost instant legal authority. This authority allows them to access, administer, and manage the trust assets, without needing a court order, as per Florida law and the Trust Agreement’s provisions

Trust Administration and Trust Administration Attorney : How They Compliment Each Other.

Trustees commonly engage a Trust Administration Attorney to navigate them through this process. Many Trust Agreements ensure attorney fees are handled with the trust’s assets, thus, not a personal expense for the trustee. Having an attorney to represent you in your capacity as a trustee can be crucial. They help with the administration process, safeguarding your trustee interests, preparing and filing necessary court documents, issuing required notices to beneficiaries and creditors, handling necessary hearings, and providing guidance through the legal nuances of trust administration.

Here at e-Estates and Trusts, we strive to guide individuals seamlessly through the trust administration process. Being a named trustee can be overwhelming, especially if the case involves complexities, numerous assets, or disputes among the beneficiaries. With our cumulative experience of 25 years, we can empathize with the difficulties trustees face, from the grieving process to assuming fiduciary responsibilities and preserving familial relationships. We take pride in offering our clients clear directions and ensuring a hassle-free estate administration experience.

Book Complimentary Estate Administration Consultation Now with one of our experienced probate and trust administration attorneys.

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When May Administration of Trusts in Florida Be Necessary?


A Trust Administration involves the management, liquidation, and ultimate distribution of assets titled in the name of a trust to beneficiaries. It should be noted that serving as a trustee is not a simple task. The trustee is responsible for administering the trust pursuant to the terms of the written trust agreement. Further, the trustee is responsible for complying with Florida’s Trust Code when carrying out his or her duties.

What are Trust assets?

Assets titled in the name of the trust are considered to be “trust assets,” meaning they are subject to the control of the trustee and also subject to administration pursuant to the terms of the trust agreement. The primary benefit of a trust is that the successor trustee named in the trust agreement will have almost immediate legal authority to access, administer, and manage the trust assets without the necessity of a court order

Keep in mind that unfortunately, there are times when an individual dies owning assets that are not titled in the name of the trust, even though they invested the time, effort, and expense of having a trust prepared. This is an example of the failure to properly fund the trust, whether the settlor/grantor was unaware he or she was responsible for transferring assets into the name of the trust, forgot about the asset or simply neglected to take the necessary steps to retitle the asset. When this occurs, a probate administration utilizing a “pour-over will” is necessary to funnel the assets through the probate process into the trust for proper administration by the trustee.

What Assets are Not Included in a Trust Administration?

Non-trust estate assets are not subject to the terms of the trust agreement and will pass by operation of contract or by operation of law to the person or persons named as beneficiaries or to joint owners outside of the provisions of a trust agreement. Individuals receiving non-trust assets are not required to share those assets with trust beneficiaries and are generally also not required to use those assets to pay claims against the trust estate.

Here are some examples of non-trust assets:


Keep in mind that sometimes when designated beneficiaries predecease or die before the decedent, those assets may be included in the decedent’s probate estate, which, with a properly drafted estate plan, will ultimately flow into the decedent’s trust estate to be managed by the Trustee. Additionally, where the joint-owner of a particular asset predeceases or dies before the decedent, that asset may also be included in the decedent’s probate estate which should follow the same path.

Book Complimentary Estate Administration Consultation Now with one of our experienced probate and trust administration attorneys.

Who is a Trustee?


What Does the Trustee Do?


All of the duties and tasks that must be performed by a personal representative in connection with a probate administration should also be performed by the trustee of a revocable trust, although different documentation is required to be filed with the Courts.

Florida Trustee Duties in a Nutshell:

Trustees have specific fiduciary duties to all of the beneficiaries of a trust such as:


To learn more in Brief about Florida Trustee Duties in a Nutshell Read Our Recent Blog

Do I Need a Trust Administration Lawyer in Florida?

While it may not be mandated pursuant to Florida law, trust administrations have a number of technical rules and requirements that are difficult for a non-attorney to properly navigate.

Florida’s body of trust laws is far too complex for many trustees to follow without legal counsel and guidance, not to mention the Courts are not permitted to provide legal advice regarding trust administrations.

Trusts need to be carefully administered with the guidance of an experienced estate and trust attorney. The trustee of a trust owes extensive fiduciary obligations to the trust beneficiaries.

Trust Administration is a complex process, mishandling can lead to personal liability and strain family relationships.

The Trust Administration Lawyer in Florida at e-Estates and Trusts has decades of experience guiding trustees step-by-step through the intricacies of the trust administration process and advising them along the way.

Not only do we prepare the necessary documentation for you to comply with the terms of the trust agreement as well as applicable Florida law, but we also advise you regarding obligations necessary to carry out your duties properly.

We are happy to work alongside your existing professional network – your most trusted bankers, financial advisors, and CPAs – to facilitate an expeditious administration of the trust and ensure you comply with all fiduciary obligations under Florida law.

If you do not have a professional network you can rely on, we can provide referrals to a trusted network of professionals you can work with, if you so elect.

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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.

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