Trustees Cannot Take Secret Trustee Fees
Should a trustee who sells a trust asset for $10 Million be entitled to a $1,000,000 trustee fee? No. Particularly if that fee is not disclosed to the beneficiaries. A recent Miami case, decided on August 13, 2013, reveals little tolerance for trustees behaving badly. Bad acts: not providing accountings, not properly valuing trust assets, taking inconsistent or contradictory factual positions, failing to disclose a million dollar trustee “fee” to beneficiaries and improperly paying trust funds to the trustee’s own law firm in the form of attorneys fees. In Florida, trustees, like most states, are held to high standards. Trustees who fail in their fiduciary duties will be removed and fined, or surcharged, with damages. No secret fees. No un-disclosed fees. No unreasonable (high) fees. Advocate hard. Litigate smart.