19 Mar What can I do if my sister took advantage of dad’s trust?
Q. My sister was the trustee of my dad’s trust. She changed his bank accounts with her name on it when my dad had dementia. My dad hired the bank to manage the accounts and they let my sister take funds out for her own use. She never did any kind of accounting for trust assets. We — me, my brother and sister — hired attorneys, and then we had to hire two different outside trustees who also helped themselves to trust assets. Then our lawyers wanted to go to mediation to settle and they suggested we settle. They hounded us until we signed. What can I do?
— Still working
A. This isn’t an easy situation.
Family fights over estates are among the most ugly.
Based on your accounting of events, it’s possible that the trustees breached their fiduciary duties, giving rise to potential claims against them personally, said Steven Holt, Steven Holt, an attorney and chair of the taxation, trusts and estates department at Mandelbaum Salsburg in Roseland.
“You should seek an accounting from all trustees for the times that they served, and do so through a petition to the probate court in the county in which the trust was administered,” he said. “You may also have potential claims against your attorneys for malpractice.”
The answer for you? You need to consult a new attorney who can represent you in these matters.
Email your questions to moc.p1586111170leHye1586111170noMJN1586111170@ksA1586111170.
This story was originally published March 19, 2020.
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