There are two main differences between a trust administration and a probate administration. The first being that the Florida statutes did not require a trustee to be represented by an attorney. While in a probate situation, the personal representative must be represented by an attorney. That's the first difference. The second difference is that the core is not involved in the trust administration process, while the core is heavily involved in the probate administration. Technically, a trustee could see to the administration of a trust without an attorney, and without the oversight of the court system. That isn't always the best way to see to the administration of a trust. It's really best if an attorney is involved to make sure things are being handled properly, and in some situations, the court may be necessary to protect the interest of a beneficiary. It is important to have some structure even within a trust administration.
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Michael L. Cahill is an attorney and certified public accountant providing estate planning, probate and tax services in the St. Petersburg, Seminole, Largo, Clearwater and Florida gulf beach communities.