What Does it Mean to Provide a Trust Accounting?
Florida law requires those who are placed in charge of administering Trusts, also known as Trustees, to fulfill certain responsibilities to the beneficiaries of the Trust in question. One of these requirements is a mandate to keep beneficiaries informed of the Trust, as well as its administration, which includes a duty to provide a trust accounting every year. An accurate and thorough trust accounting involves the disclosure of certain information, including any significant trust-related transactions, whether the Trustee was compensated, and the value of the remaining Trust assets. Failing to fulfill this responsibility is a clear violation of Florida probate law, so if you believe that a Trustee is failing in his or her duties, it is important to reach out to an experienced Pompano Beach Trustee dispute lawyer who can walk you through your legal options.
What is a Trust Accounting?
Trust accountings require Trustees to make certain disclosures to beneficiaries, including:
- A statement identifying the Trust, the identity of the Trustee, and the time period covered by the accounting;
- A showing of all trust-related cash and property transactions, including any significant transactions that affect the administration of the Trust, such as compensation paid to the Trustee, any gains and losses sustained during the accounting period, and evidence of receipts and disbursements;
- The value of Trust assets at the close of the accounting period, including the acquisition value of each asset, as well as the estimated current value;
- Certain significant transactions, including name changes in investment holdings, adjustments to carrying value, stock splits, and a change in custodial institutions;
- The allocation of disbursements, accruals, receipts, and allowances between income and principal; and
- A plan of distribution for assets that have not yet been distributed.
Trustees that fail in these responsibilities can be held liable for a Breach of Trust in Court.
Breach of Trust Actions
Trust beneficiaries who do not receive an adequate accounting from a Trustee can file a breach of trust action against that person. There are, however, limits to these types of claims. For instance, in the event that a Trustee did provide the beneficiaries with some sort of trust disclosure document, including an accounting, then the qualified beneficiary will only have six months to file a claim against the Trustee in question. If, however, a Trustee never provided the beneficiaries of a Trust with an account statement, then the wronged parties would have four years to file a claim in Court. Courts have a number of different options when it comes to remedying these types of breaches, including compelling the Trustee to fulfill his or her duties, ordering a Trustee to pay a monetary penalty, appointing a special fiduciary to take possession of the Trust property, and removing the Trustee entirely.
Set Up a Consultation Today
If you are a trust beneficiary, but have not received an accounting of the trust’s assets, please call Mark R. Manceri, P.A. at 954-491-7099 today to speak with an experienced Pompano Beach trustee dispute lawyer who can help you understand your rights as a beneficiary.