Trust Litigation Over Failure to Provide Accounting
There are several ways to go about estate planning in the event of your passing. Many people create wills that state how they’d like their property to be dispersed after they are gone. Another option is to create a trust and to place your assets within. The one who creates the trust is called a “settlor.” The settlor appoints a trustee or trustees who have a fiduciary duty to distribute the assets of the trust to the beneficiaries property.
What is a Beneficiary Dispute?
If the beneficiaries question the way the trustee is handling the assets of the trust, a beneficiary dispute can arise. The trustee owes specific legal duties to the beneficiaries who will end up receiving the money and assets from the trust. For example, the trustee cannot fail to maintain proper accounts or fail to disclose material facts to the beneficiaries. The trustee must be forthright in reporting the number of assets in the trust and in his or her manner of distributing the money of the trust.
What Happens When a Trustee Fails to Provide Accounting
Trustees owe the beneficiaries fiduciary duties. If they violate these duties, the court has the power to hold them personally liable for damage caused by their breach. They might also be responsible for the payment of the beneficiary’s attorney’s fees.
Florida law requires that a trustee provide an annual accounting to each beneficiary of an irrevocable trust. The accounting must give details on any significant transactions, compensation paid to the trustees, losses, and gains that occurred, and the value of the trust assets. If the trustee fails to give the beneficiaries an annual accounting, then qualified beneficiaries may be able to bring a breach of trust action.
It’s essential that you start the process of filing a breach of trust action as soon as possible. If the trustee provided you with a disclosure document, a statute of limitations for claims against the trustee might apply. If this is the case, the qualified beneficiary needs to make an objection to the trustee within 6 months of receiving the accounting documents.
Let Us Assist You With Your Florida Trust Beneficiary Dispute
Are you the beneficiary of a trust? Have you not received accountings that are mandated by federal law? Are you suspicious that the trustee is engaging in deceitful accounting practices? You may have legal grounds for a claim against the trustee. We are here to assist you.
Whether you’d like someone to help you speak with and negotiate the issue or you’d like to proceed to trust litigation, we can come alongside and assist you. Pompano Beach beneficiary dispute attorney Mark R. Manceri has over 30 years of experience representing clients in trust litigation. His board certification with the State of Florida demonstrates his depth of experience and expertise in the area of estate and probate law. Contact us to set up your consultation today.