Jul 14

Ward’s Beneficial Interest in a Trust Alone Does Not Confer Guardianship Court with Authority to Override Decisions of the Trustees (Fla. App.)


Ronald Mount was a ward in a nonadversarial guardianship proceeding. The guardianship court entered an order at the request of Mount’s court-appointed counsel compelling the co-trustees of the Ronald Mount Revocable Trust to return funds held in an escrow account at the Stern & Kilcullen law firm to the trust’s primary bank account. The co-trustees appealed, and the Florida court of appeals reversed the order in its entirety. The court held that in the absence of an action commenced by the guardianship against the trustees, Mount’s beneficial interest in the trust alone does not confer authority on the guardianship court to override decisions of the trustees regarding the management of trust assets. Without proof a trustee failed to perform its fiduciary duties, a guardianship court lacks authority to remove trust assets from a trustee’s control.

Guardianship of Mount, 2016 WL 759304 (Fla. App. Feb. 26, 2016) (publication pending)