Trusts have become popular ways for people to transfer property to others with minimal costs or legal interference. Each of these arrangements relies on the actions and good faith of trustees. These people and organizations have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the trust itself and the named beneficiaries. Sadly, their adherence to these rules is not always a given.
In many situations, it becomes necessary to initiate legal proceedings against trustees. In other cases, you may need to justify your own actions while serving in this role. A Florida trust litigation lawyer in Coral Gables can explain the duties of trustees, evaluate the actions of all parties, and demand the remedies needed to set things right. These concepts can be complicated, so it is best to seek guidance from a seasoned probate attorney.
The Duties of Trustees and Potential Violations
Every trust must include a trustee. These can be individual people or organizations that serve the needs of the trust and the beneficiaries. Regardless of a trustee’s exact identity, they must act in ways that only serve the interests of that trust and the beneficiaries of that trust.
More specifically, Florida Statute § 736.0802 says that trustees must act under the law to protect the best interests of beneficiaries. Furthermore, they must act in good faith to fulfill the purpose of the trust. In simpler terms, a trustee must act to benefit the people who stand to receive property, and they must do their best to achieve this goal. A Coral Gables trust litigation attorney can provide more information about this vital legal concept.
The Potential Legal Consequences of Trustee Failure
Trustees who violate these rules can face severe consequences. At the surface level, a beneficiary or interested party may ask a court to reevaluate its appointment of this party to their position. If a court believes that a trustee has failed to meet their requirements under the law, it may act to remove this party from the role. A trust litigation lawyer located in Coral Gables can initiate these proceedings.
If it becomes clear that a trustee has done permanent harm to the trust or beneficiaries, they may be personally liable for all damages. According to Fla. Stat. § 736.1002, a trustee who commits a breach of trust is liable for the amount needed to restore the value of trust property or for the profit that the trustee made as a result of the breach, whichever is higher.
An attorney is prepared to demand that trustees pay back the trust for all value lost due to their malfeasance. This includes seeking out payment through settlement or bringing a case to civil court on behalf of beneficiaries.
Contact a Coral Gables Trust Litigation Attorney Today
Effective trust administration is vital to protecting the interests of trust beneficiaries and meeting the goals of the trust maker. Because of this, trustees who serve in this role have an obligation under the law to maintain the value of trust property and only act in ways that further the goals of the trust.
When a trustee has failed to fulfill these goals, litigation may be necessary to maintain the trust’s integrity and allow beneficiaries to receive the full benefit of being in their position. A Coral Gables trust litigation lawyer can provide more information about trustees, evaluate their actions, and determine the best possible legal steps to preserve your legal rights. Reach out to us now to set up a free consultation about this matter.