Florida Estate Planning and Probate Law Blog focused on recent case law and planning ideas.

A FLORIDA TRUSTEES OBLIGATIONS TO TRUST BENEFICIARIES

In the case of Bain v. McIntosh (U.S. Ct. App., 11th Cir., No. 14-13836, March 2, 2015) the U.S. Court of Appeals held that a Florida attorney, hired to represent a trustee does not owe a fiduciary duty to the trust beneficiaries. The beneficiaries of the Florida Trust sued the attorney for breach of fiduciary duty. The attorney argued he did not owe a duty to the beneficiaries because he was hired to represent the Florida Trustee. The trial court granted summary judgment to the attorney and the beneficiaries appealed.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed, holding that an attorney retained to represent a trustee does not owe a fiduciary duty to the trust beneficiaries. According to the court, Florida regulations and case law have not expanded a lawyer's fiduciaries duties to anyone other than the trustee.