What are the amounts of trustee's fees that must be paid?

Richard, west palm beach, fl asked...

What amounts of trustee's fees must be paid on a testamentary trust?

Expert Answer

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

A testamentary trust is established in a will or living trust and funded upon the death of the person who made it.

Florida law does not set out a specific amount that trustees should be paid to administer such trusts. In fact, the trustee may even agree to take on the duties for no charge, as is often the case when he or she is a family member.

But if the trustee seeks compensation, all the law requires is that is must be "reasonable" -- a muzzy standard indeed. In practice, most Florida courts will simply require that a trustee submit a written account of what he or she has done to earn the fee requested, and will OK it as a matter of course as long as it doesn't seem out of whack or exorbitant.

Problems sometimes arise when beneficiaries of a trust claim that the trustee has charged too much. In such cases, the probate court will be called upon to decide whether the trustee fee is fair -- and again, it will be guided by whether the amount is "reasonable" for the type and amount of work performed.