Florida Trust Termination
The Florida Trust Code provides several grounds for terminating a trust.
In general, when the person who created the trust (settlor or grantor) is alive, he or she can terminate or revoke the trust provided the trust is not an irrevocable trust. The most common trust litigation scenario involving trust terminations is when the settlor is deceased, the trust is irrevocable and one or more beneficiaries want to terminate the trust to receive their shares outright.
Common grounds for moving the court to terminate a trust are:
- The purposes of the trust have been fulfilled or have become illegal, impossible, wasteful or impracticable to fulfill.
- Because of circumstances not anticipated by the settlor at the time the trust was created, compliance with the terms of the trust would defeat or substantially impair the accomplishment of a material purpose of the trust;
- A material purpose of the trust no longer exists.
In addition, after the settlor’s death, a trust may be terminated (in whole or in part) at any time upon the unanimous agreement of the trustee and all qualified beneficiaries of the trust. This provision of the trust code, found at Fla.Stat. s. 736.0412, only applies to trusts created on or after January 1, 2001.
Successfully challenging a trust or its amendments on the grounds of fraud, duress, mistake or undue influence may also result in a termination of the trust.