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  1. #1
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    Jan 2011
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    Default Half Owner of a Business, Cut Off by Executor and Heir

    My question involves business law in the state of: California


    Hello,

    I am half owner of a small operations Trucking Company. I was awarded half ownership of business property and entirety of the business when I divorced. My Ex has since passed on 3/16/2004. His last will and testament dated 9/6/02 lists my eldest son as his executor and sole heir. I have come to the realization I can no longer avoid the truth and hurt, and must face my own son after what I believe are disturbing menacing acts and fraudulent documentation recently discovered on my late ex husbands last will & testament.

    I should mention I receive absolutely no income and have been cut off from my own ownership of my half the business. For personal reasons I could not bare facing my son after a emotionally physically draining divorce battle with my late husband. And fled out of state after my late ex-husbands death for personal & emotional recuperation, this after I was violently confronted by my son and his wife. He told me I was to not have anything to do with the business, and I needed to leave. And that is what I did, I left.

    But after recently reviewing my Grandson's copy of my ex-husbands last will and testament. I am strongly convinced I have been a victim of foul business practices, menacing acts, including falsified assets stated in my ex- husbands last will and testament. No direct description of assets willed over are listed. Only a value of 225K in assets which does not even amount to the house property he has claimed, let alone the business property. Yet my son the sole heir and executor of my late ex-husband has completely claimed all property and personal belongings including my ex-husbands half of the business. But here is the interesting part, the will list only 225K in real property assets with no detailed description as to what the 225k includes, that is no where near the value of the business property my son has claimed since the death of my late ex-husband. Do I have grounds to challenge his ownership? Has he falsely taken ownership of property assets not fully disclosed?

    I am half owner of all business properties including the business name, legally. What actions can I take to ensure I will be rightfully reimbursed for monies /profits I have not received 6 years from business profits. My son the sole heir and executor of my ex-husbands last will and testament has completely cut me off, refusing to allow me to have anything to do with business practices, including profits for the last 6 years. Regrettable I needed personal time and could not bare to face my son in a what is turning out to be a nasty legal battle. But I am clear of mind, physically mentally able now, and I need to do something. Where should I start?

    Thank you so much, I am ready willing and able. I just need some direction and oppinions. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Half Owner of a Business, Cut Off by Executor and Heir

    Take your proof of half-ownership, along with whatever documentation you have pertaining to your ownership rights (shares, bylaws, etc.) to a business lawyer for review, and figure out a plan of attack. Odds are you're going to need a forensic accountant to review the financial records going back six, eight, perhaps even more years. This isn't something we can do for you in a forum.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: Half Owner of a Business, Cut Off by Executor and Heir

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Take your proof of half-ownership, along with whatever documentation you have pertaining to your ownership rights (shares, bylaws, etc.) to a business lawyer for review, and figure out a plan of attack. Odds are you're going to need a forensic accountant to review the financial records going back six, eight, perhaps even more years. This isn't something we can do for you in a forum.
    Could I upload my ex-husbands last will and testament, so you can give me a opinion on the validity of the contents. I would like a second opinion as far as legality goes of his so called will. It was signed and created by a lawyer, but the will is so indirect, it only list's assets in dollar amount, no physical description of any personal or real estate property is described, just a mis-leading dollar amount. My plan of attack is to use the Will against my son, and point out no physical description, nor address was mentioned in the will. In fact the business was not mentioned at all, not even my half was mentioned. So my plan of attack would be to prove my son fraudulently took share of my ex-husbands 50% business ownership. Because the will does not directly say so, it only list a dollar value of real estate property in a whole, which is far less than what the company was worth at the time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    757

    Default Re: Half Owner of a Business, Cut Off by Executor and Heir

    Maybe I am missing something, but what does his will have to do with your business dispute?

    Besides, since this is your ex, you do not have standing to contest the will. (And, since he passed almost 6 years ago, it may be too late for anybody to contest.)

    Mr. Knowitall's advice is best: take everything you have regarding the business to an experienced business attorney for review.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Half Owner of a Business, Cut Off by Executor and Heir

    The will is not relevant because you were already given half the business in the divorce settlement.

    In addition, as pointed out, it is way too late to challenge the will. If you were supposed to get something under the terms of the will, and didn't, you could in theory sue the executor of the estate, but you have likely blown that statute of limitations. But what the will says is not relevant to anything you are asking.

    You need to enforce that divorce settlement in effect. As said, you need to see an attorney. You need to file a civil action against the company and individuals operating it to disgorge profits due to you. As part of the case you get discovery and can look at all of their books and records. You need to see if they have declared any dividends. If so, they owe those to you, and there is no way around that. If they simply paid themselves based on income instead of paying dividends, you can likely get that reversed and disgorge any excess profits.

    Also, if they have sold stock and minimized your percentage position, you can probably reverse that as they could NOT possibly do that on a legal basis without the participation of a 50 percent owner. The only way they could is if you owned only 45 percent of the company.

    If you were awarded 50 percent of the company, were you issued stock for that? Is it a corporation, or is it a partnership? You really don't provide enough relevant information and you provide lots of irrelevant info.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    4

    Default Re: Half Owner of a Business, Cut Off by Executor and Heir

    Quote Quoting harrylime
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    Maybe I am missing something, but what does his will have to do with your business dispute?

    Besides, since this is your ex, you do not have standing to contest the will. (And, since he passed almost 6 years ago, it may be too late for anybody to contest.)

    Mr. Knowitall's advice is best: take everything you have regarding the business to an experienced business attorney for review.
    I do not want to "contest" the last will and testament of my late ex. I want to use his last Will & Testament against my sons ownership.I want to seek damages for the absent profit shares for the last 6 years, I then would want to prove my son took false ownership of the business because the last will and testament does not specifically describe the property in which he took ownership of, i.e 50% of my late Ex husbands share. The will just descbies a real estate property value, but that can easily be devided towards other properties he owned.

    I would like to know from what I have posted if you think I have grounds to persue my questions I made bold. If so, I would want to get a lawyer. A good one... I do not want to go into a lawyers ofice blind, I want to be prepared and ready to ask questions to get the right help and legal defense I need.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    757

    Default Re: Half Owner of a Business, Cut Off by Executor and Heir

    A will does not have to state every asset that the deceased owned. And you seem to indicate that the will devised all the ex's property to the son.

    Take your evidence of ownership of the business and 1/2 of the property to an attorney with business law experience.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Half Owner of a Business, Cut Off by Executor and Heir

    Quote Quoting harrylime
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    A will does not have to state every asset that the deceased owned. And you seem to indicate that the will devised all the ex's property to the son.

    Take your evidence of ownership of the business and 1/2 of the property to an attorney with business law experience.
    I came here seeking helpful advice in absence of a personal attorney. The common answer given on this site is "talk to a lawyer". I came here for help with my legal problems, I already know I need to see an attorney.

    This site is a joke.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    757

    Default Re: Half Owner of a Business, Cut Off by Executor and Heir

    Do you want to know what a joke is? Waiting for at least 6 years, probably more, to assert your rights and then coming to an internet forum "for help with your legal problems."

    Tell you what... Mr. Knowitall and I will give you a refund. Oh wait...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
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    2,350

    Default Re: Half Owner of a Business, Cut Off by Executor and Heir

    You have gotten as much info and help as possible given the lack of information you provided and the fact that you don't seem to have a clue what you are talking about, after sitting on your rights and this whole thing for six years.

    You said you got half the business in divorce settlement. So what in blazes does the will have to do with anything? We are not mind readers. Waiting six years and then coming to a free law forum demonstrates you are a total incompetent and moron.

    You probably exhausted all statutes of limitations for any civil action. Your only shot is to sue on the basis of fraud and concealment on the basis that the fraud is ongoing.

    What, you think there is some magic saying that will make everything right? You think some advice is going to settle this matter? What do you think we can do for you?

    Your ONLY OPTION is to talk to an attorney and if you can prove your case and it is not barrred by statute of limitations, you are looking at a major civil action.

    Obviously you were not concerned about the business capital and didn't need the income for six years, so you should have lots of money to pay an attorney.

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