A trustee of a trust in Florida may be removed for reasons set forth in the trust instrument itself. For example, some trusts contain provisions allowing the beneficiaries to remove a trustee–usually by majority vote. In addition to the terms of the trust itself, Florida law provides some criteria for removing a trustee.

Section 736.0706, Florida Statutes, entitled “Removal of trustee” provides as follows:

(1) The settlor, a co-trustee, or a beneficiary may request the court to remove a trustee, or a trustee may be removed by the court on the court’s own initiative.

(2) The court may remove a trustee if:

(a) The trustee has committed a serious breach of trust;

(b) The lack of cooperation among co-trustees substantially impairs the administration of the trust;

(c) Due to the unfitness, unwillingness, or persistent failure of the trustee to administer the trust effectively, the court determines that removal of the trustee best serves the interests of the beneficiaries; or

(d) There has been a substantial change of circumstances or removal is requested by all of the qualified beneficiaries, the court finds that removal of the trustee best serves the interests of all of the beneficiaries and is not inconsistent with a material purpose of the trust, and a suitable co-trustee or successor trustee is available.

If you are the beneficiary of a trust and have concerns about the trustee, you should consult an experienced florida trust administration attorney.