My Aunt is the Executer and head of my grandmothers trust, that she left for my brother and I. The will states that she was to receive 2% of the money that was in the trust when the 1st accounting was compiled as payment for her duties (which she took as payment)....So, the Trust was then sued by my grandmother's ex husband. My aunt was summoned to give a deposition, since she is the head of the Trust, and had to take the day off of work. Now, the Trust lawyer, (Her friend and personal attorney as well) tells me that Trust must pay her $75 an hour (her supposed salary) for having to miss the days work to give the deposition. I don't see how we have to give her that money, since #1 she was summoned, and #2 because she already took her 2% fee at the beginning for payment for her future duties relating to the trust... So my question is, can I argue that she should not be payed this from my trust, and perhaps hire another attorney to fight this, if my Trust lawyer says I have to?
2 Answers from Attorneys
An attorney has to look at the trust agreement. Most trusts don't even provide for any payment to the trustee for its duties unless the trustee is a bank or trust company. The law, however, does -- Section 7 of the Illinois Trusts and Trustees Act allows reasonable compensation for administering the trust, and the question will be whether the trust's providing for 2% (of what, the principal or income???) may or may not be reasonable. The trustee actually should seek a court's declaration of the proper interpretation. Whoever drew up the trust agreement may have a clue too, but that person's acumen may also be in question.
And finally, contesting the reasonableness of the $75.00 per hour compensation is going to cost how much in legal fees and time and additional personal expense?
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