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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7408
Experience:  30+ yrs. handling probate estate, wills, trust, inheritance & real estate related matters
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I have a (hypothetical) Florida trust legal situation and

Customer Question

I have a (hypothetical) Florida trust legal situation and related questions. I’m offering the top amount on JustAnswer but – to be clear up front – I am expecting specific legal case/code citations in the response, without which I am probably not going
to be a satisfied customer. BACKGROUND In the early 1950’s, a man died and left a portion of his estate in a generation-skipping Florida trust (“Trust”) to his descendants. He appointed his son the trustee, the lifetime income beneficiary, and the power of
appointment among his son’s issue for the residuary. The man provided no special provisions related to Trust funds allocation in forming the Trust other than appointing his son the income and his son’s issue the residuary benefit. During most of the life of
the Trust (e.g., 1970’s-2009), the son’s two sons and daughter were listed in the son’s will as residuary beneficiaries of the Trust. During this entire period, the son provided the grandchildren no accounting of the Trust, but rather kept the financial information
about the Trust exclusively between himself and his hired financial agents managing the Trust investments who presumably did not know the terms of residuary appointment in the son’s will. Upon the son’s death in 2009, the Trust principal was discovered by
the grandchildren to be reduced by 30% from the original dollar value and the buying power of the Trust was reduced by 88% (based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI). The grandchildren are now being told that there is long-standing Florida (statutory) requirement
for the trustee to put half of the income/growth of a Florida trust back into the principal of the trust. The grandchildren’s apparent recourse is sue the son’s Vermont estate for breach of fiduciary duty to the residuary beneficiaries of the Trust to protect
the capital of the Trust and the buying power of the Trust. There is one other primary potential creditor of the son’s estate, an ex-wife who claims she is owed the remainder of her alimony. QUESTIONS Is there clear, long-standing (e.g., relevant to the long
life of this Trust) legal obligation for a trustee of a FL trust to place half of a trust’s growth/income back into the principal of the trust, and if so, what are the specific code/case law/legal citations that best demonstrate this? Please be specific. Given
that the son had his children listed in his will for decades as the residuary beneficiaries of the Trust, did that make them “qualified beneficiaries” according to FL law and entitled to annual financial reports on the Trust? If so, what sort of penalties
or fines would be associated with decades of failing to provide the required accounting of a trust to qualified beneficiaries and instead keeping them completely unaware of these rights?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If there is clear, long-standing legal obligation for a trustee of a FL trust to protect the buying power of the trust (other than specifically placing half of the trust's growth/income back into the principal of the trust, as I ask above) please also describe the details of the case law/code that requires that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Legal Research on Case Law, Codes, etc.. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Legal Research on Case Law, Codes, etc.

I am submitting this not as an Answer, but only as a courtesy to tell you that the reason you have not been answered is because of your request for legal research. JUST ANSWER is not a legal research service, because doing so may be considered practicing law and representing clients in particular states. We are permitted to do neither. Also, legal research involves the expenditure of time and money which would be far in excess of the amounts that are paid for general information here. In any event, thanks for using JUST ANSWER.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Irwin Law: thanks for the feedback. It is a little hard to interpret, because JustAnswer basically led me into asking for legal research on the site. I get the disclaimers and that technically this is not legal advice, etc. "Legal Research on Case Law, Codes, etc." is JustAnswer's category/language, not mine.But again, thanks.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

It is not so much giving legal advice, as it is performing legal services. That would make you a legal client. If I were a member of the Florida bar I would take it on for you, but not for the price quoted here. The case you outline may be very complex, or not so much. It may boil down to whether the statute of limitations has run out for claims against the deceased former trustee.