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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  JA Mentor. I run my own practice that specializes in Estate Preparation and Administration
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My girlfriend had POA of her Grandmothers affairs as she was

Customer Question

My girlfriend had POA of her Grandmothers affairs as she was very ill. She received and was approved for a disbursement of roughly $14k thru a Thrift savings account her grandmother had. Again she got an approval letter, then her grandmother died, she then deposited the check into a joint account they had after that date, due to the check arriving later in the mail. the funds were used for her grandmothers affairs. The grandmother had two children, my girlfriends mother and her brother. They did not like the idea of my girlfriend being the POA of their mothers funds, but of course this was the grandmothers choice and they had no say. At some point, a misuse of funds was reported by one of them we think, and the check for $14k came into question. The Thrift moved to seek reimbursement. It went to collections and I believe a judgement attached my girlfriends tax returns only. She did not receive any tax returns for years following. Now there is an action of AWG by the US Treasury in the amount of $40K+. My girlfriend believes the money was supposed to go into the account of her grandmother and has an approval letter stating that, so she believes nothing was done wrong. What can she do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

The answer that I will provide you with will not be favorable, so I ask that you do not blame the messenger. Once a judgment is obtained, there is very little that she can do other than pay this debt. The only other option is to speak to an appellate attorney and see if there is still time or a basis for an appeal that has some semblance of success. I say that because typically an appeal has to be filed within about 30 days of the judgment, so if it was longer, short of a direct and material error that can be shown to have created a miscarriage of justice, this judgment will remain. Also keep in mind that an appeal can cost anywhere from $25,000 and up, so if she has a $40K debt, it may be cheaper to pay it. I realize that the news are not welcome and hopeful but I must be honest with you. On a good day an appeal has about a 15% chance on average in being successful, so filing without an attorney is even more likely to not succeed (which is why an expense there is necessary).

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do understand that, but there is opportunity for an appeal to dispute this garnishment, as the employer notified her yesterday of this. I believe she has 15 days. One of my questions would be, was she wrong? Of if she was ok to deposit funds from the last check, and the whole thing stemmed from untrue report by her mother and uncle, would this hearing be able to rectify all of this?
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I cannot really answer if she was wrong but I will point out what makes that decision potentially unwise, and yes, potentially criminal. There is inherently nothing wrong with receiving a check if the person wanted to give that money away. However, once that person dies, that check dies with it...the check MUST be cashed prior to passing, and if the person passed away and check was cashed then, it is no longer permitted because there is no proof or evidence that the deceased wanted that check to be cashed (keep in mind that a check can be potentially stopped at any time prior to it being cashed, and that is what the courts would focus on). So if this was cashed after the fact, it is potentially a violation, which would make this a valid report. I may be wrong with my understanding of the chronological events, and there you can let me know if I am, but if I understood correctly, then I see this situation as being accurately evaluated (again, if my presumptions are correct).

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She felt with the letter of approval for the check she received some days prior, gave her the right to cash it. Now she had a POA, and I know that dies with her grandmother, but she did have joint ownership of the account also.
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I can understand that error in belief, but as those funds were still in her grandmother's account when she died, those funds were supposed to become part of the estate. Then the executor would have given that money to her once accounting took place, but it couldn't be removed before accounting took place. I do realize this is not something you want to hear, but I must be honest with my evaluation here.

Please take care and be well, and kindly do not forget to positively rate so that I can obtain credit for my work. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

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