Probate & Trust Litigation

A resource for lawyers and the public in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for information on will contests, trust disputes, guardianships, conservatorships, elder exploitation, fiduciary duty claims, and other probate litigation disputes.

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Good Work If You Can Get It: FL Court Approves $24.6 M Trustee Fees

Thanks to Charles Ranson who served as an expert witness in the dispute over the fees of the Trustees of the Robert Rauschenberg Revocable Trust for his post on the Court’s decision.  On the death of Robert Rauschenberg on May 12, 2008, the Trust was funded with assets of $605 million.   In 2012, the Trustees distributed to the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (Foundation) the assets with an appreciated value of almost $2.2 billion.  The three Trustees, supported by Ranson, claimed fees of $51 – 55 million based on the eleven factors of West Coast Hospital Assn. v. Fla. Nat. Bank of Jacksonville, 100 So.2d 807, 811 (Fla. 1958), which appears in line with governing law generally.  The Foundation sought an award of $375,000.  In its Order, the Court split the (very big!) baby, awarding $24.6, million.

(Note: Ralph Holmes is currently retired from McLane Middleton. For information on this or other probate litigation issues, please contact Alexandra Cote at