Every trustee of a Florida Trust may have a fundamental duty to keep the trust’s beneficiaries informed of the administration of the trust. Florida Statute Section 763.0813 provides that a trustee must keep the qualified beneficiaries of the trust “reasonably informed of the trust and its administration.”
The statutes do provide a few examples of what a trustee must do, such as providing the qualified beneficiary with the trustee’s contact information, notice of the establishment of an irrevocable trust, notice of the right to receive a copy of the trust document, and a notice of the right to receive accountings.
Note, there are ways in Florida to avoid having to provide many of the details to beneficiaries, but you must specify them in advance.
Who is a Qualified Beneficiary in Florida
Many of our Florida clients are surprised to learn that the term “qualified beneficiary” does not mean what a client would assume. A qualified beneficiary not only includes beneficiaries who are eligible to receive a distribution from an irrevocable trust but also includes the first-in-line remainder beneficiaries.
This is a significant requirement because some other states may permit a settlor, the person that creates the trust, to withhold information from certain beneficiaries. The settlor may wish to withhold information for one reason or another, and certain states will allow the settlor to do so for a certain period without providing an alternate recipient if the settlor includes this provision in the trust instrument. However, Florida is not one of these states, and the settlor cannot dictate that only certain beneficiaries can receive administrative information in the trust document.