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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35383
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My father had a court appointed property guardian. after s

Customer Question

my father had a court appointed property guardian. after his death the guardian wrote me a check which was to cover all remaing funds in her possesion. after depositing the check the bank returned it reasion being nonsufficent funds. she does not take or return my calls and had sent a letter stating to address any further questions to the surrogate court. i did ask the surrogate court about the money and was told they didnt have it and they dont know why she told me that
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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Can you tell me how long ago this occurred?

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How much was the check for?

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Was the person an attorney?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this happened last year,the check was less than 10,000 and yes she is a lawyer!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this happened last year, the check was less than 10,000 and yes she is a lawyer
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, then it sounds like the guardian might have stolen the funds... If she won't respond to your requests for information, then your recourse here is to take a couple actions.
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First, and it sounds like you have already done this, you can file a formal Bar complaint with the Attorney Disciplinary / Grievance Committee. The office you need to contact depends upon the location of your lawyer's office.
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You can find the locations here:
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http://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/grievance/complaints.shtml
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Second, you can file a civil suit against her for breach of contract because she had a legal and contractual duty to safeguard father's assets and then deliver them to you once he passed.
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If the amount was over $5,000 you would need to hire an attorney to pursue her in a higher court than small claims.
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But if you have filed a formal bar complaint, they will investigate and can compel her to repay any improperly kept money and often they have a fund to make clients whole, kind of like a damage account, if the lawyer has spent the money and has no assets to repay. They can also take disciplinary action against her up to and including fines and revocation of her license to practice law if she doesn't have a very good reason for not returning the money.
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So before I hired an attorney, I would wait to see what the disciplinary committee is able to do for you.
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thanks
Barrister