Under What Circumstances Can An Existing Trust Be Terminated?
There are a few circumstances under which an existing trust can be terminated in the state of Florida. Each situation is unique, which is why you may want to discuss your particular case with an experienced lawyer.
Our Pompano Beach estate and trust litigation lawyer at Mark R. Manceri, P.A., represents individuals who need assistance in terminating an existing trust or defending a trust from potential termination.
When Can an Existing Trust Be Terminated in Florida?
Let’s look at each of the scenarios that may result in the termination of an existing trust in more detail.
1. The Trustor Was Not of Sound Mind When Creating the Document
Under Florida Statute § 732.501, any person who makes a will must be of sound mind for the document to be valid and legally binding. The same standard applies to trusts.
In order for a trust to be legally binding and enforced by a court, it must have been created by someone who was of sound mind when they wrote it. If it can be proven that this is not the case—that is, that the person writing the document did not possess full mental capacity when doing so—then courts may decide to terminate the trust in question. In such cases, individuals should seek legal counsel in order to determine whether they are eligible to receive compensation as a result of such termination.
2. The Trust Was Created Under Duress, Undue Influence, or Fraud
If a person creates a trust while under duress (when they are being forced or coerced into doing so), then courts will likely view them as having been taken advantage of and will consequently terminate the trust in question. Similarly, if there is evidence that undue influence was used to force someone into creating a particular kind of trust—for example, one with terms that were highly disadvantageous to them—the court will most likely void it and potentially award compensation as well. Lastly, any trusts created through fraudulent means can also be terminated by a court.
3. The Trustee Violated Their Duties
Trustees are responsible for overseeing and managing all aspects of trusts according to their stipulations. If they fail to do so (e.g., fail to perform their duties in an ethical manner), then courts may decide to terminate the trust due to mismanagement or malfeasance on behalf of the trustee. In such cases, individuals should seek legal counsel in order to determine whether they are eligible to receive compensation as a result of such termination.
4. The Trust Was Established for An Illegal Purpose
If it comes out that an individual has created a trust with intent toward engaging in illegal activities—such as tax evasion or money laundering—then courts will most likely choose not only to void said documents but also potentially pursue criminal charges against those involved. Individuals should seek legal counsel to get assistance in navigating these kinds of situations properly and swiftly.
Discuss Your Unique Case with Mark R. Manceri, P.A.
Knowing your rights is essential for proceeding correctly throughout the process, no matter what circumstance leads to a termination of an existing trust agreement. It’s best practice to always consult with legal professionals prior to taking any action related to the termination of an existing trust. Contact our trust litigation lawyer at Mark R. Manceri, P.A., to discuss your unique situation and determine if there are grounds to terminate an existing trust. Call 954-491-7099 for a case evaluation.