Boca Raton Trustee Fiduciary Duties Lawyers
Being named as a Trustee of someone else’s Trust is a big responsibility. Under the Florida Statutes, as well as case law, trustees are bound by many legal duties not just by honesty and good moral conduct. Any time a trustee fails to meet these duties, there are certain actions beneficiaries can take. Below, our Boca Raton estate planning lawyer outlines what these duties are and how beneficiaries can protect themselves.
What Are the Fiduciary Duties of a Trustee?
A fiduciary is an individual who has an ethical or legal relationship based on trust with one or more people. Most often, a fiduciary prudently controls the funds or assets of another person. Similarly, a trustee is a person who has been named by the creator of a trust to manage, control, and distribute the assets within it. Under Florida law, therefore, trustees have many fiduciary duties as follows:
- Trustees must, in good faith, administer the Trust according to the purposes and terms within the Trust, and in the interests of any beneficiary of the Trust.
- Trustees have a duty to administer the Trust in a manner that solely benefits the beneficiaries.
- Trustees must act impartially when administering the property within the Trust, and they must give due regard to the respective interests of the beneficiaries.
- Trustees must administer the Trust as a cautious person would, and they must consider the terms, purposes, requirements for distribution, and other provisions of the Trust. Trustees must also exercise reasonable skill, care, and caution while administering the Trust.
- Trustees must take reasonable steps to ensure the property and assets within the Trust are protected.
- When a trustee has special skills or certain expertise that are useful when managing a trust, they must use those skills or expertise.
- Trustees must reasonably inform beneficiaries of the assets, funds, and personal property that are distributed from the Trust or that came into the possession of the trustee.
- Trustees must inform beneficiaries of any relevant information regarding the assets and liabilities related to the Trust.
- Trustees must preserve the property within the Trust, defend against certain actions, and enforce claims.
What to Do When a Trustee Breaches Their Fiduciary Duties?
According to Harding v. Rosoff, when a trustee breaches their fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries of the Trust, they can be held personally liable for the breach of trust through negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct. If you believe a trustee has breached their fiduciary duty to you, it is critical that you speak with a Boca Raton estate planning lawyer who can determine if you have grounds to file an action for a breach of trust.
Call Our Estate Planning Lawyers in Boca Raton Now
Whether you have been named as a trustee or believe someone has breached their fiduciary duty to you, it is important to seek legal advice. At SAMUELS WOOD PLLC, our Boca Raton estate planning lawyers can provide it and advise on any further action you should take. Call us now at 561-864-3371 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn more.