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Nate
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My dad had a trust of which I was co-trustee. He passed away

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My dad had a trust of which I was co-trustee. He passed away last December and now I'm going through the process of distributing his money. His attorney had asked if I wanted to take a fee and I said no. He had named his church to receive 10%. I don't think he would have approved this if he realized how much it was going to be. I wanted to get him in to see his attorney to get this changed to 5%., but he passed away. I know that this is extreme and it would probably draw close attention from probate, but can I take a 50% fee for being the administrator? Then the churches amount would be cut in half. I would take the money received as the fee and distribute it to those named in the will. I don't mean to sound greedy but it is a large contribution. I don't think my mother would have approved either. She passed away in 2004. I appreciate your answer.
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Nate replied 1 year ago.
My name isXXXXX have been a licensed attorney for over ten years and will be assisting you today.

Once the settlor of the trust dies, it becomes irrevocable. So, no matter what the trust, or what one may think the trust should say, it says what it says and that is it. As a trustee your duty is to administer it to the letter.

What you are proposing is far too high. A normal trustee fee is more around 1 - 2% of the value of the trust. What you are proposing doing could very well end you up in court with potential personal liability and punitive damages for fraud in administering the trust.

It is possible your dad meant to change, or wanted to change that particular amount, but the simple fact under the law is that it was not changed. I'm sorry, but there is nothing else to do but take a reasonable fee like I described (if you so choose) and administer the trust as it is written.

If you have more questions please feel free to ask. I'll be happy to answer them. If you do not, please do remember to rate my service in assistance to you today.

Thanks!
Nate
Nate, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10633
Experience: Over 10 years of legal estate experience.
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