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Florida Trustee Compensation — everything you need to know (almost)

FAQs • Mar 14, 2021
post about Florida Trustee Compensation — everything you need to know (almost)

Are you the beneficiary of a Florida trust? And wonder if the Florida Trustee Compensation is too much? Welcome to your new club ! Virtually no beneficiary likes to pay their trustee compensation. And a lot think that their trustees take too much in trustee fees. But, a trustee is entitled to be compensated. So, what are the rules for Florida Trustee Compensation? There are 3 things which Florida Trust Beneficiaries need to read about trustee compensation. We have written before about trustee fees and trustee removal. Now, let’s focus a bit more on trustee compensation.

Florida Trustee Compensation. Knowing the difference between reasonable fees and excessive trustee fees is key.

Florida Trust Law on Trustee Compensation

Florida trustees are ENTITLED to reasonable compensation. Florida Trust Code Statute 736.0708 tells you about reasonable compensation. But most experienced expert trust trial lawyers, like John Pankauski, will tell you that the devil is in the details. “Each trustee compensation case is so fact specific” says Pankauski. He should know. He tries cases involving trustee fees and trustee compensation. And if an estate is involved, that’s important, too. Many times, a person will have a POUR OVER WILL which leaves everything to their Revocable Trust. A Florida Revocable Trust may also be known as a Living Trust or a Revocable Living Trust. To see a FREE VIDEO about whether an amendment to a revocable trust is valid, click HERE.

Trustee Compensation Appeals in Florida

As a trust litigator who also handles Trust Appeals, John Pankauski knows that opinions from appeals courts are important. That’s why you should consider reading 2 important trustee compensation cases. The first is from the Second District Court of Appeal. This 2016 trust appeal is called Robert Rauschenberg Foundation v. Gutman. Even if the trust document lists what compensation a trustee may receive, it can still be open to dispute. Or interpretation. The Rauschenberg case addresses the important issue of calculating trustee fees if the trust is silent. And, that case also cites to an important Florida Supreme Court trust case from 1958. Read the factors regarding trustee compensation listed in West Coast Hospital Assoc. v. Florida National Bank of Jacksonville. The citation for the West Coast Hospital case is 100 So. 2d 807 (Florida, 1958). In the end, a trustee is entitled to compensation for serving as trustee. It’s a job. But the trustee fees should be reasonable. And, as Pankauski reminds us, the trustee has to play by the rules. “No secret fees, no hidden fees” says Pankauski. A trustee is, after all, a fiduciary, with duties of loyalty and disclosure.