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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Trustee compensation can be tricky

When a trust is established for Minnesota residents, there is often a trustee that is named. The time when a trustee is needed is when the decedent has passed away and the trustee needs to take care of the trust. This can be an emotional time and can cause many family arguments. Although a trustee needs to be compensated for their time, the heirs & beneficiaries should be aware of excessive administrative fees.

A trustee has a very important job to do. But, their compensation is a common source of contention. Usually the trust specifies that a trustee is entitled to reasonable compensation, but what that means can be argued. If the duties of the trustee are substantially different than when the trust was created, their compensation may be adjusted up or down by the court. There are many factors involved in determining reasonable compensation. These may include the value of the trust, the time spent by the trustee, the trustee's skill and experience level, and the cost of service provided by others.

If an administrative fee seems excessive, a family may want to speak with an attorney who specializes in probate dispute. An attorney has the experience to guide a family through these sticky situations and make sure they are not taken advantage of. They can quickly identify the issue and advise their clients on what should be done to rectify the situation.

A trustee has an incredibly important job. A family trusts that this person is making good decisions and is ethical and moral. When a family runs into issues with the trustee, an attorney can help in this often emotionally charged situation.

Source: thetaxadviser.com, "Trustee compensation: Proceed with caution", John E. Schiller, accessed on Sept. 12, 2017

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