Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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I am sorry to hear of your family's loss, compounded by this situation. Your brother in law can be held accountable if, by his negligence, the wife got a hold of the check book. The executor has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate, and this includes safeguarding the property of the estate. Furthermore, if the wife forged their signature, she can be accountable criminally, assuming this is an avenue you wish to pursue.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX that is an avenue that might need to be pursued to protect the welfare of my husband and I as well as our children
Can you wait a moment - I am looking into something for you?
Thanks for your patience. So the bank can be responsible for cashing the check, if the 2 required signatures were missing. Here is a link to the regulating agency re: banks: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/banking/14323. The thing is that if you bring an action against the bank, they will go after your sister in law, and again, I'm not sure if you want to pursue this criminally. Hopefully a well worded letter to her will result in the return of the money.
Thank you again for everything!!
and thus no criminal action. The thing is, the executors are under a duty to prevent this from happening, now that they know she has possession of the check book.