Unless you have experience in working with trust law, your understanding of the roles and responsibilities that come with the office of a trustee is likely limited. If you are asked to serve in such a role, there are resources out there to help advise you (including us here at The Law Offices of Frye and Vazquez, P.L.). You might also wonder what sort of guidance you might expect from the court. The answer may surprise you.
Unlike with the disposition of assets through a will, the courts tend to remain relatively uninvolved in trust administration proceedings. In fact, except in the review of costs such as trustee reimbursement or the formation of a testamentary trust, court involvement in trust proceedings typically only occurs in response to a complaint being filed by any of a trust's interested parties. Issues that may provoke judicial proceedings in relation to a trust (as shared by the Florida Trust Code) may include:
- Determining the validity of any part of a trust
- Appointing you (or another) to the role of trustee, or removing you from such a position
- Settling any of the trust's accounts
- Obtaining a declaration of rights
- Determining any matters involving you as a trustee or any of the trust's beneficiaries
It does also say in the law that the court can offer instruction to you as a trustee if it is needed. As the court does oversee the issue of determining your compensation for fulfilling the role of trustee (as well as what reimbursement is to be paid to any agents you may have hired to assist in the administration of the trust), it may offer you guidance in this area, as well.
You can learn more about the assistance available to trustees by continuing to read through our site.