Is there a difference between an attorney representing a Trust with "John Doe" as the trustee, as opposed to a Trust attorney representing "John Doe" as the Trustee for a Trust? If there is a difference, under which scenario would the attorney fees be paid from the Trust assets and what, specifically, would the Trust attorney's role be? If there is no difference, is it not the attorney's responsibility to aid and defend the Trustee in his/her capacity?
The attorney represents the trustee, not the trust. Yes, the attorney would defend the trustee and the attorney would be paid from the trust assets. The attorney would advise the trustee and make sure that the trustee properly administers the trust, to the extent possible.
Some of these duties are to give proper notice to the beneficiaries, to file any necessary paperwork with the court, to file ta returns, to advise the trustee with respect to management of the assets and distributions to beneficiaries.
This is a gross simplification, as there could be 50 different duties, depending on the situation. Acting as trustee is something you would seldom want to do without an attorney's assistance.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.
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