Immediately after my dad's death I wrote checks on an account I believed to have a signature card. Turned out that he closed the original account when he moved and when he returned, he did not have me on that account even though I assisted him with his affairs. The bank never filed a claim against me, it was an honest mistake and even in court the judge said that I had not committed any fraudulent actions. There is a bit of money in the estates of both my parents and the trust.
Thank you for your follow-up, BJ.I see, thank you for your explanation. So technically the other person who is writing the letters is not defaming your name. Writing (even mistakenly) bad checks with intent to cash the checks is technically bank fraud even if the courts or the judge declined to charge and convict. The underlying action did not require an intent to defraud, merely the intent to write the check. Because at least on that ground there is enough grey area to potentially claim that what he is stating is accurate, I do not quite see a good defamation claim against him. It does not mean that you cannot file one, just please be aware that your best claim would be the fact that you were never charged or convicted, which would make his comments untrue and potentially defamatory. As a potential plaintiff it would be your burden to prove that the comments were damaging and defamatory against you.As for the claims of theft, the best suggestion there is to appear in court with a formal accounting of the bank accounts and prove that if there was anything withdrawn, it was for the benefit of the estate solely. You may also want to consider retaining counsel for which the estate can pay for and then counter-claiming against the other party for your legal fees and loss in reputation.Good luck.
The checks were written at the request of my father before his death. He wanted his grandchildren and children to receive money to compensate them for the time they spent with him rather than at work and pay for flights to attend his funeral. I was designated as his personal representative in his willand the account was in the family trust. My mother was unable to assit in the estate due to Alzheimer's. One of the checks written out to me, was used to pay for funeral expenses and I have the receipts to prove those costs. Would that make a difference?
Thank you for your follow-up, BJ.If you can prove that with outside documentation or letters then it absolutely can make a difference. Paying out from the estate to cover the funeral expenses is a very legitimate use of the estate funds.Good luck.
Thank you for your follow-up, BJ.You are most welcome, truly. Sometimes too much education and training makes individuals jump to specific conclusions while forgetting that even the law is not black and white, it is at times tough to decipher. I am happy that I was able to provide you with additional thoughts and I must admit that your situation is a bit unique since there are valid and legitimate concerns on both sides, depending on which spectrum the information is evaluated through.Good luck and if you found my information to be useful, kindly do not forget to positively rate my answers to you at this time. Thank you!
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).