How to deal with greedy Trustees in Florida: Trustee Removal

September 11, 2008

Florida Greedy Trustee RemovalGreedy Trustees can be a problem in Florida Probate Litigation and Florida Trust Litigation. Often the Trustee must be removed to resolve the issues. Adrian Thomas a Florida lawyer who deals with Florida Trust and Probate Litigation sent me an article where he discusses individual and corporate trustees. Often banks and financial institutions make their money by managing Florida Revocable Trusts and Florida Irrevocable Trusts. In recent interviews by news organizations, some employees talked about abuse of powers and improper investments that placed profits ahead of the best interest of the beneficiaries of the Florida Trusts.

Some of the abuses included:

Charging inflated fees;
Making distributions difficult for the beneficiaries;
Not considering compelling circumstances for distributions of allocation of principal and income; and
Naming themselves beneficiaries or trustees in the wills of elderly Florida Citizens.
The new Florida Trust code is modeled after the Uniform Trust code and now provides legal remedies for the beneficiaries who are being victimized by greedy trustees.

The new Florida Trust Code includes remedies which allow the court to inquire into the appropriateness of a trustee and evaluate a change in circumstances for a judicial modification of the trust. In addition, Section 736.0706(2)(d) allows a trustee to be removed when there is a change in circumstances and the removal would best serve the interest of the beneficiaries.

Many of these problems can be addressed in the drafting of the Florida Living Trust by creating language and terms that beneficiaries can remove or modify the terms when it is in the best interest of the beneficiaries. In addition, judicial modification is a process where the court can modify a trust for similar circumstances. In Aelillo v. Hyland one beneficiary was favored over another beneficiary. The Florida Court removed the trustee because of conflict of interest.

If you feel that your are not being treated fairly by the trustee of a Florida Trust which you are the beneficiary of, Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer who deals in Jacksonville Probate Litigation or Jacksonville Trust Litigation.