Removing a Trustee: Florida Statute 736.0706
How do you remove a trustee in Florida? Why are Palm Beach probate litigators often told by a beneficiary that they want to remove the trustee? What actions does removing a trustee require? Does Florida law even allow a beneficiary to remove a trustee?
Removing a trustee requires a removal action. This is a lawsuit where your trust attorney states the grounds for removal of the trustee and the legal basis for getting rid of your trustee.Trust and estates lawyers know that it actually takes evidence to remove a trustee! Therefore, argument of counsel, even really good trial advocacy, is NEVER EVIDENCE. A trust trial or an evidentiary hearing is necessary in order to show that a trustee is behaving badly. This means that you actually have to have witnesses, testimony and documents to introduce into evidence. Florida Statute 736.0706 provides more information about removing a trustee.
Florida Statute 736.0706
(1) The settlor, a cotrustee, or a beneficiary may request the court to remove a trustee, or a trustee may be removed by the court on the court’s own initiative.
(2) The court may remove a trustee if: (a) The trustee has committed a serious breach of trust; (b) The lack of cooperation among cotrustees substantially impairs the administration of the trust; (c) Due to the unfitness, unwillingness, or persistent failure of the trustee to administer the trust effectively, the court determines that removal of the trustee best serves the interests of the beneficiaries; or (d) There has been asubstantial change of circumstances or removal is requested by all of the qualified beneficiaries, the court finds that removal of the trustee best serves the interests of all of the beneficiaries and is not inconsistent with a material purpose of the trust, and a suitable cotrustee or successor trustee is available.
- (3) Pending a final decision on a request to remove a trustee, or in lieu of or in addition to removing a trustee, the court may order such appropriate relief under s. 736.1001(2) as may be necessary to protect the trust property or the interests of the beneficiaries.