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When can you contest a trust?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2022 | Estate Administration

Trusts form an important part of Florida estate planning, and many people choose them to avoid the type of challenges commonly made against wills. However, certain circumstances do allow you to contest a trust.

Mismanagement by the trustee

One of the most important parts of estate administration is a trustee’s fiduciary duty. If you can demonstrate that the trustee did not fulfill their responsibilities to you as a beneficiary, you can contest the trust.

The most common examples of trustees breaching their fiduciary duty include:

• Improper asset accounting

• Not defending the trust against challenges from third parties

• Taking personal loans from the trust or other forms of self-dealing

Invalid trusts

Florida law dictates very specific terms that must be followed when creating trusts. If you can prove that the trust’s creation did not follow the law, the trust can be deemed invalid.

A trust’s creation may have broken the law due to the following reasons:

• A third party exerted undue influence during the creation of the trust

• The trust contains illegal assets

• The trustee avoids the tax responsibilities.

Trust grantor’s mental capacity

The person creating the trust is known as the grantor. In order for the trust to be legally valid, the grantor must possess the mental clarity and competency to understand the terms of the trust. Illness and prescriptions may influence the mental ability of a grantor and make them unable to understand the terms of the trust.

Statute of limitations

People often choose trusts as part of their estate planning in order to provide a quick way for their beneficiaries to gain access to their assets. Unsurprisingly, this affects the statute of limitations for contesting a trust, and it often involves the date of the grantor’s death.