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What are the duties of a trust attorney?

Brooksville, FL |

there are only money assets and only family heirs are named as beneficiaries.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

First and foremost, the duties will be laid on in the trust document itself. You should be sure to have the trustee review all duties so that he/she can be fully informed as to whether or not they choose to act as Trustee. Additionally, each state will have its own trust code that restricts, permits and/or obligates certain acts by the trustee. For Florida, the relevant section would be Chapter 736.

As far as the beneficiaries being family, this is not likely to affect the duties of the trustee unless specifically laid out in the trust document. On the other hand, it may restrict certain activities for tax reasons, but you would need to consult a tax/trust attorney who could review the facts and the relevant trust documents to give you a more thorough explanation.

Posted

Your question is not clear. Do you want to know how the attorney would be involved in helping the trustee? Or what tasks the attorney would be assisting with? The attorney represents the trustee and not the trust beneficiaries. If you are suggesting that the trustee does not NEED to have an attorney represent him or her, that *may* be the case. But the trustee is legally entitled to have legal representation, and the trustee can be personally liable for not complying with trust requirements. So this would be the trustee's decision.

Generally speaking, if you are asking what the attorney would be good for, it is advising the trustee to make sure that all procedural requirements are handled timely and appropriately. Providing notices to beneficiaries, creditors and governmental authorities, would be one example. It is generally the case that attorneys do not need to be heavily involved in trust administration, and attorney services tend to be far less than those required by probate administration, for example.

James Frederick

*** 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.

Posted

The Florida statutes provide guidelines for the compensation of the trustee's attorney. The statute lists the duties of the trustee's attorney for a rountine trust administration. The statute is section 736.1007. Subsection 4 lists the "ordinary services" an attorney would provide. It is surprising to most people because trusts are often marketed as the magic cure to avoiding probate. As the statute reflects, the trustee has substantial legal duties under the Florida Trust Code and these responsibilities justify legal representation.

My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice that can be relied upon. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies. You should not post facts about your case because this is a public forum and is not protected by the attorney-client privilege.