Contesting a Florida Trust
Enlist the Help of a Boca Raton Trust Challenge Attorney
A trust is a common Florida estate planning tool, permitting the person who creates the trust (the “grantor” or “settlor”) to preserve wealth, protect assets, and reduce tax liability. Trusts usually make things easier for the beneficiaries, allowing them to gain access to property more quickly and avoid many of the hassles of the probate process. There are times, however, when a beneficiary may have reason to contest a trust. While an Ellis Law Group Boca Raton trust challenge attorney is in the best position to assess your particular circumstances and advise you on whether there are grounds to contest the trust in question, the following offers an overview of who can challenge a trust under Florida law and some common grounds for trust challenges.
Grounds Your Boca Raton Trust Challenge Attorney Will Use to Contest a Florida Trust?
Under Florida law, a qualified beneficiary can challenge a Florida trust as long as they have sufficient grounds to do so. Whether or not you meet the requirements to challenge the trust at issue and have sufficient grounds for your challenge are matters to discuss with your trust contest attorney, but the following are considered valid reasons to contest a trust in Florida:
- Defective Trust Document – In order to be valid, a Florida trust must be signed by the settlor and two witnesses in the specific manner required by law. Trusts can be contested as defective if there are reasons to believe that the trust was not properly executed.
- Undue Influence – If, as a qualified beneficiary, you can assert that the settlor was coerced, forced, or in some way threatened during the creation of the trust, your Boca Raton trust contest attorney has grounds to dispute the trust.
- Lack of Capacity – If the beneficiary suspects that the settlor lacked mental capacity at the time he or she executed the trust, they can contest the trust. The beneficiary must present a valid claim that the settlor did not understand the basic terms of the trust, including the nature of the property being placed in trust, who would be eligible to receive an inheritance, or how the trust would work in managing and disposing of the property in question.
Florida Trustee’s Breach of Fiduciary Duty
The trustee who administers the trust has a duty to act in the trust’s best interest. Some of the ways trustees breach this fiduciary duty are:
- Failing to properly protect and manage the trust assets
- Failing to produce a proper accounting
- Failing to defend the trust against third party claims
- Engaging in self-dealing, such as making money off the trust or taking personal loans from trust assets
If you are the beneficiary of a trust in which the trustee is not meeting his or her fiduciary duty, a Boca Raton trust challenge attorney can help you have the trustee removed and seek recovery of losses, where appropriate.
Contact an Ellis Law Group Boca Raton Trust Challenge Attorney
If you need assistance contesting a trust anywhere in the state of Florida, the Ellis Law Group attorneys can help. Please call us at 561-910-7500 or by reaching out to us online. We welcome the opportunity to serve you and your family.