Reformation and Orlando Trusts
Was your dad’s trust executed despite an error in drafting? Was a required signature to make an Orlando trust valid forgotten? Do you know what remedies the West Palm Beach probate court might have under such circumstances? You may want to look at the court’s powers of reformation.
Probate lawyers know that, in some special circumstances, the courts may edit a Florida trust, even though it had been executed and the donor is deceased. This can happen when an error by draftsmen may have made the document stray from the donor’s original intent. Do you know how to prove this intent when the donor has already passed away? When a court feels it is appropriate, it may reform a trust or other document to conform to the true meaning given to it by the donor originally. Have you read Fla. Stat. 736.0415 which may allow reformation?
736.0415 Reformation to correct mistakes.—Upon application of a settlor or any interested person, the court may reform the terms of a trust, even if unambiguous, to conform the terms to the settlor’s intent if it is proved by clear and convincing evidence that both the accomplishment of the settlor’s intent and the terms of the trust were affected by a mistake of fact or law, whether in expression or inducement. In determining the settlor’s original intent, the court may consider evidence relevant to the settlor’s intent even though the evidence contradicts an apparent plain meaning of the trust instrument.