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Can My Sister Claim Compensation for Acting as Trustee of Mother's Trust?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers a reader question about whether her sister can claim compensation for serving as Trustee of her mother's trust.

Transcript of Video: Can My Sister Claim Compensation for Acting as Trustee of Mother’s Trust?

Today's question has to do with trustee

compensation and the reader asks can my

sister claim compensation my sister was

trustee of my mother's estate and is now

wanting to claim compensation for taking

care of mother who lived in Wisconsin I

understand that Wisconsin law states if

a family member wants to take care of

another it is of their own free will the

trust does allow for compensation

however there was no care act put into


furthermore the sister is now in jail

for embezzlement on another matter

there's money missing from the trust

does she have a right to claim

compensation since she can't account for

the monies that are missing so in short

this is a complicated situation but the

language of the trust will likely govern

the situation many trust documents allow

for reasonable compensation or some

other compensation while the trustee is

acting while the grantor is still alive

most trusts pay the trustee to

administer the estate after the grantor

passes and again look at the language of

the trust document I can tell you that

in Wisconsin under a will a personal

representative is entitled to 2% of the

probate estate as their fee for

administering the estate so that's any

the asset that passes under the will so

use that sort of as your baseline where I

would think an amount above that often

would seem excessive unless it's written

right in there directly why the sister is

getting that amount now in terms of

caring for your mom while she's alive

that is best memorialized in the care

contract as you pointed out stating what

the sister will do for mom in exchange

for compensation and again that should

be reasonable now I recommend you take

a copy of this trust to a local

attorney and have them explain to what

it says about trustee compensation and

you may have other claims

there that involve the missing funds

so this is too complicated to answer in

a short video but that's the short

general response to what I would do in

this situation and again most trusts

will authorize some compensation for the

trustee but remember when you're acting

as trustee you have a duty of good care

and loyalty to the principal so you

should never be using the funds just to

enrich yourself great question and thank

you for asking!

© 2019 Law Office of Thomas B. Burton. All Rights Reserved.

Transcript and captions provided for ease of access for the hearing impaired.

For questions about this topic, or to suggest a topic for a future blog post, please contact my office.

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