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Compensation for the Trustee of a Florida Trust

October 30th, 2014

Posted in Asset Protection,Estate & Personal Planning

Section 736.0708 of the Florida Statutes governs the compensation available to Florida trustees.  Most trust documents provide reasonable compensation to the named trustee.  However, if the trust document is silent on the matter, Chapter 736 provides that the trustee is entitled to reasonable compensation under the circumstances.[1]  Accordingly, a Florida court may award reasonable compensation when the trust documents neglect the issue.

Even when the document does provide compensation to the named trustee, Chapter 736 allows courts to adjust that compensation if the trustee’s duties are substantially different from those contemplated when the trust was created, or if the compensation specified in the trust document is unreasonably low or high.[2]  Reasonable compensation is a judicial determination based on the duties and responsibilities of the trustee under the particular trust at issue.

In addition to the court’s ability to provide the trustee with reasonable compensation, a Florida trustee may also be entitled to reasonable compensation for other services rendered to the trust or the trust beneficiaries.  A trustee should always engage the services of a Florida attorney to review the trust and the trustee’s responsibilities.  Oftentimes, people think that a trust avoids any administration.  While a trust may avoid a probate administration, a trust administration is typically necessary wherein a trustee is entitled to compensation and to pay other expenses of administration.

[1] Section 736.0708(1), Florida Statutes.

[2] Section 736.0708(2), Florida Statutes.

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