Difference between a trustee and personal rep?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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