Difference between a trustee and personal rep?

A PR ‘closed an estate, but he was also the Trustee of the deceased Trust.
I think there is a big error in his accounting. Who to go to? Or what legal
form do I need to go to the court to consider my concern?

Asked on September 10, 2017 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A trustee manages the trust, according to its terms. The personal represesntative receives monies due the estate, manages the estate's property until it is distributed, collects the estate's assets, pays the estate's bills, and then distributes what's left (after bills, etc.) to the heirs and beneficiaries. The roles are very similar, but one deals with the trust; the other deals with everything the person who died left behind which is NOT in the trust. 
If a beneficiary of either a trust or an estate feels that the trustee or PR either misappropriated money or wasted it by being careless, the beneficiary can bring a legal action in chancery court (a part or division of county court which, among its other responsibilities, has power over "fiduciaries"--those who manage the assets of other people, and who therefore owe them certain law-imposed duties of loyalty and care). Ideally, hire an attorney to help you--chancery court and actions in it, like an action for an "accounting" of an estate or trust, are much more complex than, say, a small claims case. If you can't afford a lawyer or are determined to represent yourself, you may; buy or download a copy of the court rules and ask the clerk of the chancery court for instructions on filing an action for an accounting of an estate and/or trust.


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