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Florida Successor Trustee Checklist

By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Trust Attorney

You are named the successor trustee and the trustmaker has just died. No doubt these are difficult times, but thankfully there are many resources to help. The following is a checklist of initial important tasks to help guide you after the funeral or memorial service.

Note: You are not required to accept the trustee duties. However, if you begin to act as successor trustee you will likely be held responsible for all acts as the trustee to the beneficiaries and the IRS. Therefore, do not begin to take any actions as Trustee before you know what your duties are. Consult a Miami trust attorney and see our 12 Point Summary of Florida Successor Trustee Duties.

First Priority Action Items

____ 1. Take possession of all legal records including:

__ Original trust

__ Original will (usually called a pour-over will if decedent had trust)

____ 2. Take possession of all financial records such as:

__ Inventory of assets  Note: This may be on paper or on decedent’s computer.

__ Passwords to computer, internet media, or social media

__ Checkbooks

__ Credit cards

__ Statements from all banks or financial companies

____ 3. Take possession of all keys or codes to:

__ All vehicles or boats

__ Safe or bank safe deposit box    Note: Do not allow entry to Safe Deposit Box without a witness and prior discussion of arrangements with a Miami trust attorney.

__ House and other real estate or rental properties

__ Storage room

____ 4. Lock and secure all real estate and household contents

Click here for the complete checklist: Florida Successor Trustee Checklist.

This is a short list of initial tasks for a person who accepts the duties as Successor Trustee.  It is not a complete list of tasks.  The trustee will only be able to determine all tasks after carefully reviewing all trust instructions with a Miami trust attorney.   Attorneys at  Rarick & Bowden Gold have helped many family members navigate these tasks as the Trustee  or Co-Trustee.  We are available to help you.  Contact us at (305) 556-5209 or email to

Special Note

The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an attorney that is experienced in Florida probate law. Your receipt of information from this website, blog, or Miami trust attorney does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

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