Trust Litigation

What if someone creates a trust in Florida, but the terms are unclear when it’s time for distributions to be made? What if a trustee is indeed serving in their role managing and distributing assets, but beneficiaries question whether or not this is done properly? These are examples of situations that can lead to trust litigation. The rules related to trust creation and management in Florida are in Fla. Stat. § 736.0101 et seq.

The creation of a trust is often a key component of accomplishing estate planning goals. When a person creates a trust, their purpose is to exercise a greater level of control and clarity over their estate planning strategies. Unfortunately, however, not all trusts are drafted properly, drafted clearly or executed as intended by the creator of the trust. In those circumstances, retaining a Florida trust litigation lawyer might be the only way to resolve the dispute effectively.

As a Florida trust litigation attorney can tell you, there are many different components to addressing these contested issues. These must be handled sensitively and carefully as they often involve feelings between family members and can inflame relationships that might need to stay intact after the resolution of the case is complete.

Trust litigation cases can cover a broad range of issues but primarily relate to the interpretation of a trust, the termination of a trust or the behavior taken on by a trustee in which beneficiaries allege that the trustee has acted inappropriately. In each of these unique situations, a trust litigation attorney in Florida can get involved as soon as possible to help address legal questions and to provide additional context and options to interested beneficiaries and stakeholders.

As a trust litigation lawyer in Florida will tell you, the sooner you engage legal representation the greater your chances are of success in closing out this case with minimal conflict and problems. Any trustee who has been appointed into that role will play the crucial task master of managing all of the assets inside the probate estate.

This includes gathering and inventorying these assets, determining what creditors have potential claims against the estate, paying out those taxes and creditors promptly, reporting on the accounting of assets moving in and out of the estate, and providing a final report and accounting to the courts.

Throughout this process, there are many different situations in which the actions of a trustee could come into question particularly by those beneficiaries who believe the trustee is not acting properly, is engaged in illegal behavior or is not keeping them appropriately updated about trust administration progress. The trustee has a legal interest and right to represent themselves in any of these proceedings and the beneficiaries want someone to handle their aspects of the claim as well. In some situations, trust litigation disputes can be resolved outside of court when the right attorney is engaged early on. In others, litigation might be necessary to resolve the issue and provide for next steps. In each of these circumstances, it is the responsibility of the invested stakeholders to recognize what’s involved and to plan for next steps. If you or someone you know needs the services of a trust litigation lawyer, do not hesitate to contact an attorney who has proper experience in this field.

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