Allegations of trustee misconduct over missing millions

| Jan 8, 2020 | Wills & Trusts

At 73 years old, the Navy veteran is fortunate to still have his mother around. His 92-year-old mom has considerable financial assets – including Florida property – but she and a Probate judge wonder what became of $6 million in her estate.

The Michigan judge recently released the man from a nearly three-month jail stay for refusing to say when happened to the missing money. The judge released the vet with a stern warning to report to the court the disposition of the $6 million within 90 days or return to jail.

The man says any allegations of wrongdoing are “absurd,” noting that he has “never mishandled (the estate). Not one penny. I’m an Eagle Scout Triple Palm. I have been wronged and the truth will come out.”

The son was trustee of his mom’s estate for a decade, but the current trustee – an estate planning attorney – wants to know how money was spent from 2005 to 2008. The trustee says he believes the son spent the money on “toys” such as expensive automobiles (a pair of Jaguars and a 1931 Ford), and a motorcycle dealership.

The son’s attorney argued that the veteran couldn’t very well conduct a forensic audit of the missing money while behind bars.

In a recent hearing, the judge in the case said, “All I want is (for the son) to file an accounting and explain where the money is.”

Allegations of trustee misconduct can sow deep divisions in families. These disputes can often be resolved outside of courtrooms with the help of a Cocoa attorney experienced in these complex matters.