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Infolawyer
Infolawyer, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53804
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
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I represent my minor son as one of two beneficiaries in a family

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I represent my minor son as one of two beneficiaries in a family trust that was left by their father. The now former Trustee and Executor was removed from his duties because of conflict of interest due to the discovery that he became business partners with his other nephew and having loaned the same business more than $200,000 from the Estate and Trust within two years after my husbands death.

The former trustee and Executor was granted Trusteeship upon the death of my late husband according to terms of the trust. The court appointed Executor during probate did not know that my brother in law had already loaned $117,000 to a business he formed with my step-son months after my husbands death. I would personally never have agreed to any settlement if I had known this nor would my attorney or the Probate judge involved.

My former brother in law purports himself to be a financial executive that provides company audits and accounting for an global investment firm. In other words, he is a professional and knows what he is doing.

He did not let anyone know that he was in business with the other beneficiary of the Trust and Estate he was charged with handling prior to his being granted Executor and Trustee. Had I known that he was involved in business with the other beneficiary, I would not have consented to a settlement that allowed him to become in charge of these funds which by the way,contradict the manner in which funds where to be released to the beneficiaries through the trust terms.

My question, is did my former Brother In Law have a duty to inform of this conflict of interest? Is there a law that supports that? He claims not to have been aware of any conflict. It seems to me that he had a duty to inform all involved.

I am in Alabama. While he is not a CPA, he does have an accounting degree from university and having worked in the financial investment realm as well as being responsible for regularly performing audits on investments companies, it seems to me he is qualified to be knowledgeable of the task he was undertaking and of the obvious conflict of interest that existed.

Any advice is appreciated

Daniel :

Hello and thank you for the question. I am sorry to read of this dilemma.

Daniel :

Reviewed your question

Daniel :

there are a few issues here

Daniel :

first, notice should have been given to all interested parties

Daniel :

second, any conflict of interest should have been aired out and resignations followed

Daniel :

third, any settlement should have gone through proper channels and obtained approval

Daniel :

Where a conflict has resulted in harm, one may be removed and may be held to both account for conduct and liable for resulting losses.

Daniel :

which the court would oversee

Daniel :

Is that clear?

Customer:

Yes and I agree. The defendant claims not to be aware that a conflict existed in the first place.

Customer:

He is hiding behind his "not knowing" he was doing anything wrong.

Daniel :

not knowing is not a defense

Daniel :

and you have the options we discussed

Daniel :

I wish you the best.

Daniel :

Kindly select a positive rating for the answer, which I tried to get to you quickly given its importance

Customer:

fyi, he was ordered to repay all loans to the estate and trust and he has excepting for about 60K. The real issue at this point is that he has cost the Estate hundreds of thousands in legal fees and court cost. I do not have a lot of money to defend my son but he has had access to the entire estate since he was the Executor and Trustee.

Customer:

what I get your saying is that he was responsible for knowing that a conflict existed period.

Daniel :

Correct

Daniel :

he knew or should have known

Daniel :

and its the same thing

Daniel :

and the liability was duly extended to him!

Daniel :

I wish you the best.

Customer:

Thank You! Much appreciated!

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