When assigned to administer a trust, the trustee has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the estate held in trust and its beneficiaries. Hence, one of the crucial responsibilities of a trustee is keeping all interested beneficiaries well-informed.
Otherwise, failing to inform or provide the required accounting to one or multiple beneficiaries may result in heart-wrenching litigations and overwhelming financial consequences.
In this article, you will discover which individuals are entitled to a copy of a trust in Florida.
Who Gets a Copy of a Trust in Florida? – The Verdict
Primarily, one of the main tasks performed by a trustee is maintaining all the qualified beneficiaries of a trust reasonably informed about how the trust administration is going (including detailing accounting of expenses and income).
One should note that the trustee’s duty to inform goes beyond simply providing proper information, as the trustee must prepare reports and in-depth accounting for each interested beneficiary.
However, are beneficiaries entitled to a copy of the trust document? Indeed, they are. Upon receipt of a reasonable request, a trustee must provide a copy of the trust document to the beneficiary.
As provided by Florida statutory rules, the trustee must provide notice of the acceptance of the trust to all qualified beneficiaries within 60 days after the date of acceptance. The provision applies to revocable and irrevocable trusts within Florida’s jurisdiction.
Upon receipt of notice of acceptance, a qualified beneficiary has the right to request a copy of the trust instrument.
Who Gets a Copy of a Trust in Florida? – In Detail
No beneficiary may be denied a copy of the trust instrument, as the document legally imposes the binding obligation on the trustee to uphold his/her fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries. Additionally, upon reasonable request, a trustee must provide a trust accounting to each beneficiary with an interest in the trust.
In this regard, statutory rules define that the accounting summary must begin from the date of the last accounting and encompass the entire period within this timeframe.
However, if the trustee is providing the first accounting of the trust, the accounting summary must begin on the date on which the trustee assumed legal accountability for the trust.
It is crucial noting that a trust accounting must be a report written in clear, comprehensible language. As provided by law, a trust report must be «reasonably easy to understand,» indicating any person of average intelligence should be able to comprehend the document.
What Information Should Be Included in a Florida Trust Report?
Despite the easy-to-ready language, a trust accounting must precisely identify and report data, adequately disclosing the information required by state law. Accordingly, concerning the accounting period, a trustee has the responsibility to show:
- All transactions involved cash and property affecting the trust’s administration
- All income generated by the trust
- A statement within the report to outline all the trust’s essential information (i.e., the trust’s name, the name of the trustee issuing the report, and the time frame covered by the accounting report)
- Any compensation paid to the trustee and his/her agents in the report
- The occurrence of any gain or loss
- All applicable receipts for any trust distributions
- Any other significant transactions that do not affect the value of the trust’s assets directly (e.g., a name change in an investment holding)