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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 114028
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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I have an uncle in Michigan who passed away recently. Prior

Customer Question

I have an uncle in Michigan who passed away recently. Prior to passing away, he was in a Court ordered conservatorship for 12 years because of Alzheimer's, Dementia etc. His estate was quite large (in the millions) and was managed by different Conservators. My sister and I are considered potential heirs because at the time of the conservatorship he had no will, never married and no children. our Mother, who was his sister, died when we were young, which is why we're considered heirs. His other sister, our Aunt has been aggressively trying to exclude us and make herself the sole heir. One of her methods was to have the Attorney representing her as Guardian for my Uncle and a representative of the Conservator (a major bank) set up a meeting at his nursing home and execute a will, leaving everything to her. In addition, they never informed the Judge or the probate court for 2 years about the will's existence. The Conservator managed the estate for about 6 years and in addition to the will, they did not file tax returns for 2 years, failed to report several hundred thousand in rental property income and were generally inept. The original conservator was a major bank that was purchased by another major bank. In total they collected around 160,000 in management fees. The time period was 2004-2011 and only today are we becoming aware of this. Part of the reason the estate is in turmoil is because of these problems. Would there be any fiduciary liability on their part?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

HIs sister, under MI law on intestate succession is not the sole heir, which I am guessing you have figured out. It is all siblings and since your mom was a sibling you get to represent your mom and take her share through representation.

The conservator is indeed personally liable for not properly managing his estate and for not paying taxes or bills due. It would indeed be a breach of fiduciary duty for the conservator to improperly manage the affairs of the ward.

This is something that is going to require you to file suit against the conservator and also go after the aunt for self dealing in setting herself up as sole heir. However, you will need your own attorney to pursue this in court if you want to claim your rightful share to the estate.