2005 Florida Statutes
Proceedings for review of employment of agents and review of compensation of trustee and employees of trust.
737.204 Proceedings for review of employment of agents and review of compensation of trustee and employees of trust.--
(1) After notice to all interested persons, the court may review the propriety of the employment by a trustee of any person, including any attorney, auditor, investment adviser, or other specialized agent or assistant, and the reasonableness of any compensation paid to that person or to the trustee.
(2) If the settlor's estate is being probated, and the settlor's trust or the trustee of the settlor's trust is a beneficiary under the settlor's will, the trustee, any person employed by the trustee, or any interested person may have the propriety of employment and the reasonableness of the compensation of the trustee or any person employed by the trustee determined in the probate proceeding.
(3) The burden of proof of propriety of the employment and the reasonableness of the compensation shall be upon the trustee and the person employed by the trustee. Any person who is determined to have received excessive compensation from a trust for services rendered may be ordered to make appropriate refunds.
(4) Court proceedings to determine reasonable compensation of a trustee or any person employed by a trustee, if required, are a part of the trust administration process. The costs, including attorney's fees, of the person assuming the burden of proof of propriety of the employment and reasonableness of the compensation shall be determined by the court and paid from the assets of the trust unless the court finds the compensation paid or requested to be substantially unreasonable. The court shall direct from which part of the trust assets the compensation shall be paid.
(5) The court may determine reasonable compensation for a trustee or any person employed by a trustee without receiving expert testimony. Any party may offer expert testimony after notice to interested persons. If expert testimony is offered, a reasonable expert witness fee shall be awarded by the court and paid from the assets of the trust. The court shall direct from which part of the trust assets the fee shall be paid.
(6) Persons given notice as provided in this section shall be bound by all orders entered on the petition.
(7) In a proceeding pursuant to subsection (2), the petitioner may serve formal notice as provided in the Florida Probate Rules, and such notice shall be sufficient for the court to acquire jurisdiction over the person receiving it to the extent of the person's interest in the trust.
History.--s. 1, ch. 74-106; s. 4, ch. 75-221; s. 3, ch. 95-401; s. 1038, ch. 97-102; s. 16, ch. 2003-154.