Can a registered sex offender and a convicted felon be appointed as a trustee for a trust in probate?
Jacksonville, FL |
My grandmother died and she disinherited all her children and executed a trust under strange circumstances which left everything to a tenant. This tenant is also the trustee of the trust and is a convicted felon and sex offender.
A convicted felons would not be eligible to serve as a personal representative in Florida probate, but the trust is a separate issue from the probate proceeding . There may well be a cause of action for undue influence if the circumstances of the trust creation are suspicious. You should talk to an estate and trust litigator quickly.
Don't take anything written here as legal advice.I am happy to offer my thoughts free of charge, and I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about representing you. Please be aware, though, that at this point we have not established an attorney-client relationship. An attorney client relationship requires me to agree in writing to represent you. Unless that happens, you shouldn’t take anything I say to be legal advice or make any decisions based on it.
I agree with Attorney Fortenberry, you need to consult with a probate litigator right away.
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Law Offices of Eric J. Gold
While there is no statutory exclusion of convicted felons from serving as a trustee, as there is with a personal representative, a trustee still is a fiduciary which is contrary to appointing a convicted felon. At some point there may be a need for a bond or even for appointment as a personal representative. As with the other attorney's I would be concerned with the fact pattern that a convicted felon was left every thing over the natural heirs and you should immediately seek out a person qualified in trust law and litigation to question the fitness of this person to be the trustee and to investigate further the circumstances of the trust and whether there were prior trusts or wills prior to this tenant appearing on the scene.
Answering this question is for educational purposes only and is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship