Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Florida

Freezing Assets


I am a remainderman of a fairly large trust and I have evidence that the co-trustees (other family members) are stealing from it or threatening to. What am I looking at as far as trouble and expense in getting these assets frozen. I feel like if I don't act soon this money will be gone. Please help.

Asked on 5/22/03, 11:19 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Mark Mahoney Cassiani Law Office, Wise Shepherd Law Office

Re: Freezing Assets


I agree with the other answers. Basically, you file a legal action in court asking for an accounting to be made to the court by the trustees. That way, you can find out what is going on and evaluate whether it is proper or not. If not, you can pursue the remedies mentioned by the attorney. There are two states listed in the email: Wisconsin and Florida. I am not sure which state you would hire the lawyer in, or where the legal action will be filed. You will need to retain a lawyer in the state you reside and possibly where the trust assets are located, if not the same. Your attorney will be able to give you additional guidance. Best wishes, Mark J. Mahoney 920-984-4529

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Answered on 5/23/03, 11:59 am

Re: Freezing Assets

If the trustees breached their fiduciary duties, you, as a beneficiary, can file an action against them in court. You should file an action to get the assets back or get compensated, and you should also ask the court to remove the trustees for breach of duties.

As for the costs, with any type of litigation it is impossible to say without knowing the facts of the case (how much investigation is needed, what assets are involved, etc.). I suggest you have a consultation with a local attorney. He or she should be able to give you an estimate of the costs after an initial consultation. The attorney should be able to give a telephone consultation if you are not local.

Good luck.

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Answered on 5/22/03, 12:37 pm
David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

Re: Freezing Assets

As the remanderman you should be concerned. The trust would have to be reviewed and the fiduciaries contacted. If they are violating the trust and wasting the assets legal proceedings may be in order. The exact legal procedures involved and the attorney and court fees would have to be discussed. Attorneys usually are paid on an hourly arrangement or a total fee arrangement. Good luck.

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Answered on 5/22/03, 2:49 pm
Thomas Schober Schober Schober & Mitchell, S.C.

Re: Freezing Assets

As a ramainderman, you have standing to sue the trustees to verify that they are handling the trust assets appropriately. If there is abuse, you could get your legal fees covered by the trust, and the trustees' fees may not be covered. Even if the assets are gone, the trustees may be personally responsible and have to account to the court as to what happened to the trust assets.

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Answered on 5/22/03, 4:11 pm

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