2016 Florida Statutes
Investments by fiduciaries; prudent investor rule.
Investments by fiduciaries; prudent investor rule.
518.11 Investments by fiduciaries; prudent investor rule.—
(1) A fiduciary has a duty to invest and manage investment assets as follows:
(a) The fiduciary has a duty to invest and manage investment assets as a prudent investor would considering the purposes, terms, distribution requirements, and other circumstances of the trust. This standard requires the exercise of reasonable care and caution and is to be applied to investments not in isolation, but in the context of the investment portfolio as a whole and as a part of an overall investment strategy that should incorporate risk and return objectives reasonably suitable to the trust, guardianship, or probate estate. If the fiduciary has special skills, or is named fiduciary on the basis of representations of special skills or expertise, the fiduciary is under a duty to use those skills.
(b) No specific investment or course of action is, taken alone, prudent or imprudent. The fiduciary may invest in every kind of property and type of investment, subject to this section. The fiduciary’s investment decisions and actions are to be judged in terms of the fiduciary’s reasonable business judgment regarding the anticipated effect on the investment portfolio as a whole under the facts and circumstances prevailing at the time of the decision or action. The prudent investor rule is a test of conduct and not of resulting performance.
(c) The fiduciary has a duty to diversify the investments unless, under the circumstances, the fiduciary believes reasonably it is in the interests of the beneficiaries and furthers the purposes of the trust, guardianship, or estate not to diversify.
(d) The fiduciary has a duty, within a reasonable time after acceptance of the trust, estate, or guardianship, to review the investment portfolio and to make and implement decisions concerning the retention and disposition of original preexisting investments in order to conform to the provisions of this section. The fiduciary’s decision to retain or dispose of an asset may be influenced properly by the asset’s special relationship or value to the purposes of the trust, estate, or guardianship, or to some or all of the beneficiaries, consistent with the trustee’s duty of impartiality, or to the ward.
(e) The fiduciary has a duty to pursue an investment strategy that considers both the reasonable production of income and safety of capital, consistent with the fiduciary’s duty of impartiality and the purposes of the trust, estate, or guardianship. Whether investments are underproductive or overproductive of income shall be judged by the portfolio as a whole and not as to any particular asset.
(f) The circumstances that the fiduciary may consider in making investment decisions include, without limitation, the general economic conditions, the possible effect of inflation, the expected tax consequences of investment decisions or strategies, the role each investment or course of action plays within the overall portfolio, the expected total return, including both income yield and appreciation of capital, and the duty to incur only reasonable and appropriate costs. The fiduciary may, but need not, consider related trusts, estates, and guardianships, and the income available from other sources to, and the assets of, beneficiaries when making investment decisions.
(2) The provisions of this section may be expanded, restricted, eliminated, or otherwise altered by express provisions of the governing instrument, whether the instrument was executed before or after the effective date of this section. An express provision need not refer specifically to this statute. The fiduciary is not liable to any person for the fiduciary’s reasonable reliance on those express provisions.
(3) Nothing in this section abrogates or restricts the power of an appropriate court in proper cases:
(a) To direct or permit the trustee to deviate from the terms of the governing instrument; or
(b) To direct or permit the fiduciary to take, or to restrain the fiduciary from taking, any action regarding the making or retention of investments.
(4) The following terms or comparable language in the investment powers and related provisions of a governing instrument shall be construed as authorizing any investment or strategy permitted under this section: “investments permissible by law for investment of trust funds,” “legal investments,” “authorized investments,” “using the judgment and care under the circumstances then prevailing that persons of prudence, discretion, and intelligence exercise in the management of their own affairs, not in regard to speculation but in regard to the permanent disposition of their funds, considering the probable income as well as the probable safety of their capital,” “prudent trustee rule,” “prudent person rule,” and “prudent investor rule.”
(5) This section applies to all existing and future fiduciary relationships subject to this section, but only as to acts or omissions occurring after October 1, 1993.
History.—s. 6, ch. 28154, 1953; s. 2, ch. 93-257; s. 26, ch. 97-98; s. 686, ch. 97-103.