Forming a trust can be one of the most effective ways to transfer property to another person or organization. Not only does this process allow for tax-free movement of assets, but it can also help you avoid the complications that can come with probate. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of trusts always depends upon the ability of trustees to perform their duties under the law. Florida law says that trustees have a duty to act in the best interests of beneficiaries. A failure to act properly may lead to litigation.
A South Miami trust litigation lawyer can help you if you believe that a trustee has failed in their duty to properly manage a trust. A hard-working probate attorney can use their legal knowledge and resources in trust disputes to evaluate the actions of trustees and protect your rights in court.
All Trusts Must Nominate a Trustee to Oversee the Process
The trustee plays a vital role in the administration of any trust. The trustee takes temporary control over the assets in the trust, keeps those assets in good standing, and distributes the assets to the named beneficiaries at the appointed time.
In the general sense, trustees have a duty under the law to perform their role in good faith. According to Florida Statute § 736.0802, this includes acting in a way that serves the purpose of the trust, as well as the interests of the beneficiaries.
More specifically, trustees must make informed decisions concerning the administration of the assets in the trust, and they must take these steps with reasonable skill, care, and caution. Whether a trustee has fulfilled this obligation is a common source of probate disputes. A South Miami trust litigation attorney can provide more information about the duties of trustees under Florida law.
Investigating Improper Trustee Activity and Seeking Fair Remedies
Florida law makes it clear that trustees have a duty under the law to properly administer the trust and affected beneficiaries have the right to demand compensation in trust disputes. However, proving that improper action has occurred is the burden that falls on the affected beneficiaries. A trust litigation lawyer can begin investigating any apparent improper actions, including:
- Examining the trustee’s reports;
- Evaluating whether they have properly maintained the assets while they sat in the trust;
- Determining whether the distribution of property occurred in accordance with the terms of the trust documentation.
If it appears that a violation of the fiduciary duty has occurred, an attorney can take steps to seek out an appropriate remedy. In many situations, this could include a private, out-of-court settlement where a trustee agrees to pay back the lost value in the trust. However, it may also be necessary to take the more aggressive step of filing a complaint in probate court and demanding full compensation in litigation. Contacting a trust litigation lawyer in South Miami could be the first step toward an appropriate outcome.
Contact a South Miami Trust Litigation Attorney Today
It is not uncommon for a dispute to surface during the administration of a trust. Florida law requires trustees to consider only the best interests of the beneficiaries when administering the trust. They could potentially violate this duty by failing to follow the terms of the trust or by improperly caring for the property under their control. Either of these actions makes a trustee liable for any resulting damage.
A South Miami trust litigation lawyer can help you to collect compensation for these damages, which might include seeking out a private settlement or filing complaints in civil court. In both situations, an experienced attorney from our firm is ready and available to stand up for your legal rights as a beneficiary of a trust. Contact us today and set up a free consultation with a member of our team.