Port Saint Lucie, FL asked in Estate Planning for Florida

Q: My husband had just set up his trust. He hadn’t done his will yet. He passed away suddenly.

His trust lawyer said I needed to hire an estate lawyer for my 11 year old son (at the time). How long does that lawyer control my son’s money? He is now 15.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: It is not even sure that the attorney controls anything, the Trustee of the Trust controls what happens based on the terms of the Trust document, if the attorney is the Trustee, then he will serve in that role, but he must act in accordance with the terms of the Trust. You will need to get a copy of the Trust and get it reviewed by an estate planning attorney. I would additionally say, the Trustee should be updating you annually minimally with an accounting. Until you review the Trust it is impossible to determine the details of the Trust and what must be done and when, but there are responsibilities that must be addressed throughout and or at least annually with respect to reporting to beneficiaries usually and or their guardians or representatives. It is common for a Trust to hold money to certain ages, but the Trust may allow for support throughout, so your son may be entitled to payments already, ongoing or some point in the future. A Trust usually allows for support for health, education maintenance and care amongst other things ongoing and then sets certain additional support guidelines and age distributions like at 18, 25 or 30 and so forth. But until the documents can be reviewed this is all guessing. I would encourage you to get the documents together and start with getting them reviewed, if you do not have a copy of the Trust then get an attorney to request a copy of them if you cannot get them yourself, which by the way, you should have had them upon the passing of your husband.

Stephen Arnold Black agrees with this answer

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