What is a reasonable trustee fee?

Florida statute provides wonderful clarity to this question.  Under §736.0708(1) trustees are entitled to “reasonable compensation.” The most comprehensive Florida case that gives guidance on reasonable compensation for a trustee is West Coast Hospital Assoc. v. Florida National Bank, 100 So.2d 807, 811 (Fla. 1958) where the court stated that the following factors determine a reasonable fee:


The following factors may be influential in enabling the court to reach a conclusion as to the appropriate amount of pay which should be granted the trustee in a given case: The amount of capital and income received and disbursed by the trustee; the wages or salary customarily granted to agents or servants for performing like work in the community; the success or failure of the administration of the trustee; any unusual skill or experience which the trustee in question may have brought to his work; the fidelity or disloyalty displayed by the trustee; the amount of risk and responsibility assumed; the time consumed in carrying out the trust; the custom in the community as to allowances to trustees by settlors or courts and as to charges exacted by trust companies and banks; the character of the work done in the course of administration, whether routine or involving skill and judgment; any estimate which the trustee has given of the value of his own services; payments made by the cestuis to the trustee and intended to be applied toward his compensation."

Additionally, corporate trustee fees charged by local banks and trust companies would probably be helpful in deciding what is reasonable.  For more information contact Linde Law Group today.

Matthew A. Linde
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