A trust is more than just a way to avoid probating an estate. There are many benefits, such as the ability to protect your property for your heirs, and reduce the amount of estate taxes that will be incurred. A trust also helps you to prepare for the possibility of incapacity, and to avoid a potential will contest. For clients who agree that a trust is a good option, the next question is usually about the annual fees for a trust in Nevada. There are several factors that determine what the costs may be.
What will your trustee charge?
Trustees are entitled to a fee for their services. How much they may be entitled to, can differ from state to state. Whether they will even charge a fee also depends on their relationship to you, in most cases. If the trust is a revocable living trust, you are likely your own trustee, so you obviously would not charge yourself a fee. Family and friends who have agreed to serve as your trustee in the event of your death, often turn down the fee, if they are beneficiaries in the trust, as well. On the other hand, if your trustee is a financial institution, such as a bank or trust company, it will likely have an established fee scheduled, depending on the type of services they provide to you.
What is the average cost?
On average, annual trust fees can run between one and two percent of the total value of the assets being administered. When a trust is not being supervised by the probate court, there are generally no limitations on what the trustee can be paid for his or her services. But, if you want to avoid disputes in the future, it is best to set the trustee’s compensation in the terms of the trust. That way, there can be no dispute between the trustee and the beneficiaries about the amount of the fees.
Court supervised trust management
Typically, trusts are not created to be managed by a court. In the case of a testamentary trust (one created by a will that takes effect at death), or a trust that has been challenged in court, the probate court will order the trustee to be paid a “reasonable” fee. Nevada provides, by statute, for “reasonable compensation” (Nev.Stat. §153.070) and extra compensation is allowed for any “extraordinary services” (Nev.Stat. §150.030).
What is “reasonable” compensation?
Courts have established that the following criteria can be used for determining reasonable compensation:
- the gross income of the trust
- the success or failure of the trustee’s administration, as measured by the growth in the value of investments
- any unusual skill or experience the trustee has brought to the position
- the “fidelity” or “disloyalty” shown by the trustee
- the degree of risk and responsibility assumed by the trustee
- the time the trustee devotes to performing trust duties
- the custom in the community, including the compensation allowed to trustees by Trustors or courts typically in that community
- the character of the work done in administering the trust
- any estimate the trustee has given concerning the value of his or her own services
Trust compensation terms in Nevada
Nevada’s statute, § 153.070 (2013), provides as follows:
On the settlement of each account of a trustee, the court shall allow the trustee his or her proper expenses and such compensation for services as the court may deem just and reasonable. Where there are several trustees, it shall apportion the compensation among them according to the respective services rendered. It may fix a yearly compensation for each trustee, in a set amount or pursuant to a standard schedule of fees, to continue as long as the court may deem proper.
If you have questions regarding trusts, or any other estate planning needs, please contact Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd., either online or by calling us at (775) 823-9455.