Rene v. Sykes-Kennedy

Rene v. Sykes-Kennedy, 156 So.3d 518 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015), 2015 WL 24081

This case centered around whether a guardian of the property for a ward was able to amend that ward's revocable trust to appoint the guardian as trustee.  The named successor trustee, the ward's granddaughter, objected to the modification and argued that the guardianship court did not have the authority to enter into an order modifying the ward's revocable trust.  The granddaughter argued that because F.S. 736.0201 requires that a judicial proceeding regarding a trust be commenced by filing a complaint, the trial court's order in the guardianship proceeding modifying the trust was improper.  The Court disagreed.  It held that because F.S. 744.441 grants a guardian the ability to exercise any power as trustee that the ward might have exercised, and since here, the ward as trustee of her own trust had the ability to amend it, upon court approval the guardian had the same ability to amend the trust.  Since there was substantial, competent evidence to support the trial court's determination that it was in the ward's best interest to have the guardian appointed as trustee, it affirmed the trial court's decision.


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