Filing a lawsuit against a Florida trust may be a complex task. Depending on the trust’s purpose and whether the complaint is made against the trustees, it may result in the unenforceability of a judgment against a trust.
In this article, you will find out how to sue a trust in Florida.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Florida Trust – Identifying Feasible Legal Grounds
The primary element of a trust lawsuit is determining the reason to sue a trust. Each case’s circumstances are different, which requires a detailed assessment from an experienced attorney to identify the right strategy.
It is possible to sue the trust directly or sue the trustee responsible for the trust’s administration. Florida case law has different court decisions showing distinct judgments for trust lawsuits.
In most cases, Florida courts are unwilling to interfere in a trust arrangement to satisfy creditors’ claims and judgments against the trustor’s death. While there are cases in which creditors managed to collect from trust property to satisfy unpaid debts, it is not the rule in Florida.
Conversely, it is possible to find cases in which a Florida court pierced the protective veil of trust to permit the claimant to recover owed child support or alimony from the defendant’s assets held in trust.
How to Sue a Trust in Florida? – Taking a Closer Look
With specific exceptions, Florida Statutes §736.0201(1) provides that “judicial proceedings concerning trusts shall be commenced by filing a complaint and shall be governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.”
Florida Statutes §736.0201(2) specifies that “the court may intervene in the administration of a trust to the extent the court’s jurisdiction is invoked by an interested person or as provided by law.”
The reasons to request court intervention in a Florida trust vary. Under Florida Statutes §736.0201 (4), “a judicial proceeding involving a trust may relate to the validity, administration, or distribution of a trust, including proceedings to:
- Determine the validity of all or part of a trust
- Appoint or remove a trustee
- Review trustees’ fees
- Review and settle interim or final accounts
- Ascertain beneficiaries; determine any question arising in the administration or distribution of any trust, including questions of construction of trust instruments; instruct trustees; and determine the existence or nonexistence of any immunity, power, privilege, duty, or right
- Obtain a declaration of rights, or
- Determine any other matters involving trustees and beneficiaries”
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Florida Trust – Statute of Limitations
Considering trust lawsuits based on breach of fiduciary duty or breach of trust, the statutory statute of limitations is four years. If a trust accounting has provided a statutory limitation notice, the period allowed for claimants could be six months.
If the individual or entity filing a lawsuit against the trust wants to seek compensation or collect damages from the assets held in trust, the statute of limitations may vary depending on the reason behind the lawsuit.
Do You Want to Sue a Florida Trust? – Contact Your Florida Probate Lawyer Today
Filing a lawsuit against a trust requires a strategic approach. Get in touch with Attorneys Romy B. Jurado and Diana C. Collazos by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing Romy@juradolawfirm.com to schedule a consultation.