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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117359
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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As successor trustee, I retained counsel to respond to a siblings

Customer Question

As successor trustee, I retained counsel to respond to a siblings lawsuit, the plaintiff is asking for an Accounting.
Subsequent to this occurring , the ST prepared the final taxes of the grantor. A return of $6000.00, federal tax return, for the STs own signature, was delivered to the home.
The plaintiff, when they found the check was delivered , went to the home and took the check.
The plaintiff, plaintiffs counsel, colluded with the STs counsel to have the plaintiff take the federal check from the home, give the check to her counsel, who then gave the check to the STs counsel. This all done on the sly. The ST, whose name the check bears, never signed the check.
The check was placed in a trust account separate form the STs trust account. The ST only saw the check for the first at mediation, still unsigned. When the ST asked his counsel, did he take the check, counsel answered, yes , he did take it.
The plaintiff, in the accounting case naming the ST, with the plaintiffs counsel consent and aid, snatches the Federal tax return check, then secretly gives the check to the STs alleged counsel.
Is there a problem here. taking a federal check from the home of the ST, with the knowledge
then handing the check, unsigned, over to the STs own lawyer?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How do you determine if a conflict of interest exists between the trustees counsel, the plaintiff, and plaintiffs counsel.
The trustee's counsel has a hostile attitude towards his client.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years 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.
Did this plaintiff have any legal right to enter the home of the ST where the check was located? If not, then the Plaintiff committed burglary and/or trespassing. The check belonged to the estate and was to go to the estate account. Once the estate lawyer received the check, the attorney's duty is to the estate and as such depositing the check for the estate until the estate issues are settled was the proper action for the attorney to take.
So the problem here is the burglary/trespassing of the plaintiff into the ST home and that is up to the DA as to whether they will prosecute that if the ST files a police report for the burglary/trespassing.
As far as the attorney, it is not collusion for him to take the check given to him that is for the estate and deposit it in the estate accounts, that is what he should have done in his duty to protect the estate.
The ST should be looking at whether or not the attorney is acting on behalf of the estate NOT on behalf or in the interests of the ST, since that is his primary duty. If the attorney is not, then the ST can consider terminating the attorney and replacing him.