My father died five years ago. He and my mother had a Revocable Family Trust. Both I and my brother were named as successor Trustee after both mom and dad passed.
After my Father died mom entered an assisted living facility in Arizona. Both my brother and I also had financial power of attorney. Since my father had done quite well financially during his working years, and had planned well for retirement, I was not worried about finances.
My brother lived in Arizona so he took care of the everyday finances for mom and I trusted him completely. After all, we both loved mom and I knew he would take care of her, and I lived in New York. I was unable to handle the everyday expenses.
Last month my mom passed away. After all the emotional stress ended, I was informed by my brother that all of mom’s money had been spent on her care.
Of course I believed him, at first. However, I started to calculate the amount of expenses it would take to go through the substantial amount of money I knew had been left by my father.
I asked for an accounting and my brother told me to go to he--, so I hired an attorney.
The attorney wrote a demand letter and he brought in only half the documents she asked for. However, I did get full access to all the accounts. I have found so many inconsistencies I don’t know what to do now.
There are a number of avenues you can take in this situation. First, a second demand letter pointing out to the brother his duties as a fiduciary. Also, that his lack of proper record-keeping could end in a legal action.
If his brother does not respond properly then an attorney can take legal action. Of course, these are family members so the best outcome will be a reconciliation where both parties come to an agreement and all is set straight.
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