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How Do I Remove a Trustee from a Florida Trust?

When a trust beneficiary and trustee don’t see eye to eye, a beneficiary may want the trustee to be removed.  Whether this is possible depends on the specifics of the situation. If you dislike the trustee, have a personality conflict with them, or are unpleased with minor aspects of how the trust is being managed, these are not legally valid reasons for removal.  According to the Florida Trust Code, at least one of the following conditions must be present to remove a trustee:

  • “The trustee has committed a serious breach of trust;
  • The lack of cooperation among co-trustees substantially impairs the administration of the trust;
  • 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
  • There has been a substantial 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 co-trustee or successor trustee is available.”[1]

Some examples of these conditions include:

  • The trustee not complying with the terms of the trust
  • The trustee engaging in self-dealing
  • The trustee mismanaging the trust funds
  • The trustee failing to provide accountings or other required disclosures to the beneficiaries

If you believe you have a valid reason for removing your trustee, the first step is to meet with an experienced trust litigation attorney. If after reviewing the evidence for your claim, your attorney believes you have a valid case, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf. If the judge rules in your favor and removes the trustee, the successor trustee named in the trust documents will take their place.

It’s important to keep in mind that trustee removal lawsuits tend to be long and expensive. It is not uncommon for trustee removal lawsuits to take years to resolve due to their complexity. While you will need to pay for your attorney’s fees, the trustee will usually be able to use funds from the trust to cover their defense. However, there are tools available to limit the trustee’s ability to access trust funds to pay for their attorney’s fees in certain circumstances.

Huth, Pratt, and Milhauser specializes in trust litigation. Our attorneys are experts at developing solid cases in support of trustee removal and then successfully convincing the judge in court to rule in our favor. If you feel that your trustee is improperly managing your trust, contact us today for a free consultation.

Huth, Pratt and Milhauser

Huth, Pratt and Milhauser is a boutique law firm that offers a wide range of legal services in the specialty areas of wills, trusts, estates, probate, guardianship, and related matters. The range of legal services that Huth, Pratt & Milhauser provides in these specialty areas includes planning, administration and litigation. The experience and skills of our attorneys and staff, coupled with our knowledge of applicable law, enable us to provide outstanding representation to our clients.

Although we are located in South Florida, we proudly serve clients throughout the country and around the world from our Boca Raton offices. We strive to provide superior and focused counsel in a timely manner and at a competitive price.

Huth, Pratt and Milhauser

2500 North Military Trail, Suite 460

Boca Raton, Florida   33431

Phone: 561-392-1800

hpmlawyers.com


[1] The Florida Legislature. Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine (state.fl.us). Accessed September 6, 2022.

2500 North Military Trail, Suite 460
Boca Raton, Florida   33431
Phone: 561-392-1800

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