Disputes that arise regarding trusts and wills can be emotionally taxing on a family. If you believe your loved one’s intentions are not being honored, or breach of fiduciary duty has otherwise occurred, we can help you take action through firm legal solutions that meet your needs and resolve problems.
Will, Trust and Estate Disputes
Generally, claims to contest wills and trusts may only be brought after the death of the settlor (the person who signed and created the trust) or testator (the person who signed and created the will).
If a family member was incapacitated when they made changes to their estate plan or they were unduly influenced into changing their estate plan, an interested person can request a judge to void the will or trust. In order to bring a claim to void a trust or will, you must establish that you have not waived your rights and that you were entitled to receive assets under a prior valid document, or if there is no prior document, that you would be entitled to receive assets under Florida’s intestacy laws.
- In good faith
- In accordance with the terms of the document
- In accordance with state law
- In the interests of the beneficiaries
Florida Trust Code
The Florida Trust Code sets forth the following standards of care that are applicable to personal representatives and trustees:
- Duty of Loyalty: Fiduciaries must act solely in the interests of the beneficiaries and refrain from actions that could create a conflict between their personal interest and their duties to the beneficiaries.
- Duty of Impartiality: If there are two or more beneficiaries, a fiduciary must act impartially in administering property, giving due regard to the respective interests of the beneficiaries.
- Duty of Prudent Administration: A fiduciary must administer a trust or estate as a prudent person would by considering the purposes, terms, distribution requirements and other circumstances of the estate or trust. In satisfying this standard of care, the fiduciary must exercise reasonable care, skill and caution.
- Duty to Account: A fiduciary must keep beneficiaries informed of the administration of the trust or estate and periodically provide an accounting of the assets in the trust.
DiPasquale Law represents individuals who are owed inheritances (such as money, personal property or real estate) under trusts and wills. We also represent beneficiaries in suits against trustees for mismanagement of assets and breaches of fiduciary duties. In some instances, we are able to resolve will and trust disputes before filing lawsuits. When litigation cannot be avoided, however, we assert your inheritance rights in the courtroom.
Exploitation and Abuse of the Elderly
Many older residents of Florida live far away from their loved ones and, unfortunately, they sometimes fall under the influence of someone who wants to take advantage of them. If an individual finds that his or her parent or other loved one has left assets to someone unexpected or altered his or her will due to undue influence, lack of mental capacity, or an estranged family member is challenging a will, there are legal remedies available to address the situation.
DiPasquale Law handles Florida Exploitation of the Elderly and Florida Civil Abuse of the Elderly cases. If you are concerned that an elderly family member is being exploited or abused, contact us for a free consultation.