Bringing Surcharge Action Lawsuits to Fight for Your Rights in Florida
In the probate and trust and estate administration context, a surcharge action is a lawsuit against a trustee, personal representative, fiduciary or agent (the person administering a trust or estate) typically brought by a beneficiary due to the trustee’s mismanagement of the trust or illegal conduct.
Some examples of wrongful acts by a trustee that may result in a surcharge action in Florida are: committing embezzlement/fraud, transferring assets from the estate to the trustee without permission from the beneficiaries, failing to conclude the trust and estate administration process or make distributions to the beneficiaries in a timely fashion, failing to follow the terms of the trust, or failing to carry out the wishes of the decedent as described in the will or trust.
If you are a beneficiary of a trust, you have the right to question the trustee’s actions and accountings in Florida. If you believe the trustee has breached his or her duty, you can bring a lawsuit against the trustee to compensate for the breach of duty that occurs through negligent or intentionally wrongful or illegal conduct. If the court finds in your favor, the “surcharge” is the amount the court may charge a trustee who has breached his or her duty (also known as breach of trust).
There are several different routes our estate planning and probate attorneys can take in Florida, including bringing a surcharge action to petition for Formal Accounting or a petition for Removal of a Trustee.
Petitioning for a surcharge action can be a complicated process where proper procedures must be followed in order for the court to accept your evidence. While not required, this type of legal action is best handled by an experienced, qualified estate planning lawyer.
RTRLAW’s attorneys have the required skills, knowledge and experience to handle trust and estate administration and probate lawsuits including bringing surcharge actions on behalf of our clients.