Do I have to have trust accounts? How do I set them up?
It’s theoretically possible that an attorney who limits his or her practice to work where no up-front costs are involved could get by without a trust account and not violate the rules of ethics. An attorney who did only contracted research for another attorney might fall into this category. But even research attorneys or government attorneys sometimes take in occasional outside work or do favors for friends. If you receive client funds or other property in a fiduciary capacity, you must be prepared upon that receipt to treat the money or property as “in trust”. For a fuller discussion of the rules and a graphic demonstration of their application view the training seminar called “Trust Accounts by the Book.” If you’ve just got a quick question about your trust account, feel free to contact The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar; we can usually provide you with the answer.
IOTA forms needed to open a trust account at a financial institution are available in the LegalFuel Document Library. Additionally, LegalFuel’s Trust Accounting Resources page includes links to the relevant Rules, Ethics Opinions, and more.