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Trust Law: Considering An Arbitration Provision

trust law

The world of estate planning is complicated to navigate, especially when it comes to trusts. In Florida, every legally binding trust must name a trustee to administer and distribute assets to the correct beneficiaries as stated by the trust. Managing a trust can become even more complicated if the beneficiaries disagree and are considering arbitration. Including an arbitration provision in your original trust can make it easier. Here the expert trust law attorneys at Handin Law explain everything you need to know if you consider an arbitration provision.

Arbitration Basics

Unlike mediation, in which a mediator attempts to get the adverse parties to find common ground for settlement, arbitration uses a neutral party, called an arbitrator, to make an authorized decision about the trust in question. The arbitration process is private, in the terms that disputing parties come to an agreement that one or more people will decide on the outcome after hearing arguments and evidence from the beneficiaries.

Much like a court trial, the parties will present the information they believe the arbitrator needs. Unlike a court trial, the arbitration process is often faster and less formal. After the arbitrator hears the arguments, they give their decision. Typically, these decisions will either be announced to the parties by the arbitrator or given with reasons. The arbitration decision falls under either binding or non-binding. While binding decisions are enforceable by the court, non-binding decisions allow the parties to decide if it is final.

Considering Arbitration Provisions

Strong estate plans with well-laid-out provisions for beneficiaries are crucial. Without them, it can lead to assets having to go towards attorneys and court costs. Including arbitration provisions in your estate plan helps to prevent this costly and time-consuming process. However, there is no single plan for every case. Hiring the right estate lawyer guarantees you will find the most effective arbitration provision for your trust. Here are some things you should consider:

Enforceability and Validity

Florida is one of the few states to have codes on the enforceability of trust arbitrations. Because of this, the validity of the trust can still come under question. One aspect that can significantly affect if arbitration is enforceable or not? If the trust involves incapacitated parties, minors, or the unborn. This is because they are unable to consent to the process. Another issue involves if the trust is valid, commonly due to incapacitation or unjust influence on the trust from others. Attorney Gary Handin has experience in clearly laying out trusts to best avoid disruption between beneficiaries.

Hiring An Arbitrator

While the arbitrator is hardly impacted by judicial oversight, they still have an incredible amount of power. Finding the right arbitrator is critical to guarantee the process goes as smoothly as possible. If a specific arbitrator is not included in the trust, beneficiaries must come to an agreement as to whom they want to hire. We can help direct the trust holder to several trusted organizations to find a just arbitrator experienced in trust law. If an individual cannot be secured at the time, it’s vital to include both qualifications you desire and ones to avoid.


Going through litigation can go several ways. Every state follows strict laws and procedures that all courts and attorneys will know. Arbitration, on the other hand, is less formal, and trustees can decide their own rules. Arbitrators can also use their own rules to hear the case and arguments. While less formality can lead to more efficiency in their ruling, it can also convolute the process. Including stringent rules trustees and arbitrators must abide by helps to ensure the trust is justly sought out.

Arbitration And Trust Law In South Florida

The first step to including an arbitration provision in your trust? Retain the help of an experienced estate lawyer, like those at Gary I. Handin, P.A. Ensuring the trust is adequately drafted makes it much easier for trustees to abide by it. If you decide to include arbitration provisions, a well-executed trust will lay out your terms and conditions. For over 50 years, the Law Offices of Gary I. Handin, P.A. have been providing their clients with the attention and experience they deserve. If you have questions about estate law or arbitration provisions, call us at (954)-796-9600. You can also contact Handin Law online at today!

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Law Offices of
Gary I. Handin, P.A.

Providing professional legal services for the city of Coral Springs. Contact us today for a free consultation – 954-796-9600.

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