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5 Things You Need to Know About Removing a Trustee

Uncategorized Dec 12, 2014
post about 5 Things You Need to Know About Removing a Trustee
Consider reading “THE” book on Florida Trusts by renowned trust litigation attorney John Pankauski.

Are you the beneficiary of a Palm Beach trust? I can’t tell you how many calls I get at our West Palm Beach probate litigation law firm.  (We have added new and updated material on removing a Florida trustee.)  Trust beneficiaries are upset with their trustee. “I want to remove my trustee!” they complain. Here are five things a trust beneficiary needs to know now about trying to remove a trustee of a Palm Beach trust.

  1. Is the trustee unfit? The FLORIDA TRUST CODE  is a specific law on removing a trustee. Florida’s Trustee Removal law is 736.0706.  One way is to demonstrate that the trustee is unfit to serve as trustee. What “unfit” means will certainly vary with circumstances and from case to case. A trust beneficiary should also understand that some things which they may consider to be “unfit” is not viewed the same way by the trust judge during the trust litigation case. Have a serious discussion with your probate litigation law firm about whether the trustee is truly unfit to serve. ( If you want to meet the Florida trust lawyer who actually wrote the book on being a trustee, click HERE.  IF you want to read the #1 book on being the trustee of a family trust, click HERE.) 
  2. Mere Disagreements or Disdain Are Not Enough.  Just because you don’t like your trustee or because you disagree with something that trustee did  does not mean that you get a  new trustee.  A lot of trust beneficiaries just don’t like their trustee. Maybe the trustee of your family trust is your step mother, who is 10 years younger than you.  Maybe the trustee is your brother or sister who you don’t get along with. Maybe you are the beneficiary of an irrevocable family trust created by your father who had a Florida revocable trust. Your father has now passed away, and after probating his Palm Beach estate, his Florida revocable trust is now irrevocable. It’s a family trust and you don’t like the fact that your inheritance was not left you outright. You don’t like the fact that there is a trustee who you have to ask for money from. Probate judges who handle trust litigation cases understand this and see through this all the time. Probate court judges in Palm Beach County, Florida understand that you may be frustrated by the fact that your inheritance is held in trust.  Understand this when you are creating your probate litigation trial strategy.
  3. Breach of Fiduciary Duty.  One way to remove a trustee for the trust is to demonstrate to a probate court judge that the trustee breached some of his or her fiduciary duties. Remember: trust litigation Boca Raton is handled by probate court judges. You will have a trust lawsuit trial. You will be required to introduce evidence: documents, witnesses, eyewitness accounts which are accurate and credible. You are not going to remove the trustee by having your trust litigator West Palm Beach simply stand up and make an argument. So, who is your first witness in your trust litigation lawsuit Palm Beach Gardens?
  4. Trust litigation is expensive and stressful. No matter how tough you talk, our experience suggests you will find trust litigation stressful. Frustrating. Perhaps even a bit demeaning. Legal services for very fact specific trials like trustee removal are expensive. Are you emotionally and financially ready for a trust lawsuit Lake Worth?
  5. Trust attorneys fees. The Florida trust code has many trust statutes or laws regarding the payment of attorney’s fees in trust lawsuits. The trustee is going to use your trust funds to hire and pay a trust litigator to defend himself or herself. If you lose the trust lawsuit, you may be ordered to pay attorneys fees to the trust. Or have your inheritance reduced. hy7Yes, family trust litigation has a financial downside in more ways than one. Do you know how to prohibit the trustee from using trust funds to pay the trustee’s litigation attorneys? There is a Florida trust code law on this procedure and rule. Do you know how to seek attorneys fees in trust litigation cases?