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What are the Duties of a Florida Trustee?


By Phil Rarick, Weston Estate Planning Attorney

A Florida trustee is a fiduciary with a high degree of liability. Here is a short summary of seven key trustee duties:

  1. Show loyalty to all trust beneficiaries, including current and remainder or future beneficiaries.

  2. Deal Impartially With Beneficiaries. Typically, the trustee must walk a fine line that balances the interests of the income beneficiaries against the interests of the remaindermen.

  3. Take Trust Property Productive of Income. Trust assets are expected to achieve conservative growth.

  4. Follow the Prudent Investor Rule. Generally the trust portfolio should be broadly diversified and invested in conservative investments designed to stay ahead of inflation but not in aggressive growth.

  5. Account to Beneficiaries and Keep Beneficiaries Informed.

  6. Keep Trust Assets Separate – no comingling with personal assets. The trustee needs to keep accurate records of every dime that comes in and out of the trust.

  7. Avoid Conflicts of Interest and Self-Dealing. The trustee cannot favor himself as a beneficiary at the expense of any other beneficiary. Conflicts of interest and self-dealing is a broad area with many traps.

This is a short list of a trustee’s duties; there are numerous other important duties the trustee must follow; failure to do so may mean personal liability for the trustee. Rarick & Bowden Gold, P.A. have assisted trustees for over 20 years. Let me know if I can help. Call Phil Rarick, an experienced Weston estate planning attorney, at (305) 556-5209.