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Can a trustee count the homestead house protected in an

Customer Question
Can a trustee count...

Can a trustee count the homestead house protected in an irrevocable trust to calculate trustee fees?

Lawyer's Assistant: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Florida in Lake County.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

You mean with the court?

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not really,I have found information that says executors and personal representatives cannot use homestead property to calculate statutory percentage fees and I'm wondering if that is the same guideline for Co- trustees managing a small estate with a special needs trust. The homestead house is in an irrevocable trust. The trustees are co-trustees and they included homestead property to calculate their fees which made the fees seem excessive for $100,000 in assets that was distributed,mostly a bank account and some stock, and a small insurance policy.They paid themselves $6,000 each ($12,000) and I wonder if that is reasonable..

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 27 minutes by:
12/15/2017
Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Attorney replied 8 months ago
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 43,074
Experience: 17 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

.

I would opine that since PRs and executors are prohibited from including homestead property in their compensation, logic should dictate that a trustee shouldn't be allowed to do so either.

.

However, FL Trust Code just says that the trustee is entitled to "reasonable compensation" considering their duties and the complexity of the work, but it doesn't specifically exclude homestead property.

.

With that said, $12K in trustee fees on a $100K trust is excessive and if challenged, a judge should agree. It has been clearly established that if there are multiple trustees, they don't both get paid the same amount that a single trustee would get. So if a single trustee got $6K, which would probably be reasonable, then if there are co trustees, they should each get $3K because presumably the work is split between them.

.

This is a link to a nice article that goes into much more detail than I can here and reaches the same conclusion... $12K is too high and if challenged by the beneficiary, would likely be reduced substantially by a probate court judge.

.

http://www.florida-probate-lawyer.com/probate/trustees-fee/

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thanks

Barrister

Ask Your Own Estate Law Question
Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Attorney replied 8 months ago

Hello again,

.

I just wanted to touch base with you and check in.

.

Did you have any further questions I can help with?

.

.

Thanks much

Barrister

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