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  1. #1

    Default Atty Has Not Given Me My Inheritance After 8 Mos

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of:

    I inherited a substantial sum of money. The money was held in a trust that was set up so that the estate did not have to go through probate. My mother died September 2018 and the estate atty still has not handed over the money to me. I am a beneficiary and my brother is the executor/trustee. The estate atty has been tasked with collecting the money (it's in 10 different financial accounts). I have seen the documents required to have to redeem the money - there is nothing to them - they are simple. It would take no more than 15-30 minutes to fill them out. So we are talking of a measly 5 hours worth of work yet as of May 15th (8 months later) the atty had not requested some of the accounts to be redeemed.

    There are no extenuating circumstances that would cause a delay. My mother set everything up ahead of time and so there is no probate - all that has to be done is for the atty to fill out the paperwork on 10 accounts so as to redeem the accounts - which is a measly amount of work - yet it's 8 months and I still don't have my money????

    I filed a complaint w the 5th district greivance committee but the refused to investigate it. I think it might be because I am not a trustee. The said something about going through the surrogate court to complain.

    My brother doesn't care how long it takes - he's already rich and does not need the money. I don't know why he didn't just file the papers himself. I filed a complaint w the NYS greviance committee but they refused to investigate. IT might be because I am not a trustee. The atty does not return my telephone calls or emails. I really am totally steamed. What recourse do I have?

    I live in NYS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,299

    Default Re: Atty Has Not Given Me My Inheritance After 8 Mos

    Do you have a copy of the trust documents?

    You can go to the surrogates court for the county where your mother lived, or where the assets are held, or where the trustee lives and speak with the clerk of the that court as to what you can do. They will likely tell you that you can file suit to require the trustee to distribute the assets.

    The NY statute (if I am reading it correctly) gives the trustee 7 months to distribute the assets.

    Or you can speak to a local estate attorney for a consult.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,648

    Default Re: Atty Has Not Given Me My Inheritance After 8 Mos

    Quote Quoting Gettingrippedoff
    View Post
    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of:

    I inherited a substantial sum of money. The money was held in a trust that was set up so that the estate did not have to go through probate. My mother died September 2018 and the estate atty still has not handed over the money to me. I am a beneficiary and my brother is the executor/trustee. The estate atty has been tasked with collecting the money (it's in 10 different financial accounts). I have seen the documents required to have to redeem the money - there is nothing to them - they are simple. It would take no more than 15-30 minutes to fill them out. So we are talking of a measly 5 hours worth of work yet as of May 15th (8 months later) the atty had not requested some of thebenem accounts to be redeemed.

    There are no extenuating circumstances that would cause a delay. My mother set everything up ahead of time and so there is no probate - all that has to be done is for the atty to fill out the paperwork on 10 accounts so as to redeem the accounts - which is a measly amount of work - yet it's 8 months and I still don't have my money????

    I filed a complaint w the 5th district greivance committee but the refused to investigate it. I think it might be because I am not a trustee. The said something about going through the surrogate court to y complain.

    My brother doesn't care how long it takes - he's already rich and does not need the money. I don't know why he didn't just file the papers himself. I filed a complaint w the NYS greviance committee but they refused to investigate. IT might be because I am not a trustee. The atty does not return my ttelephone calls or emails. I really am totally steamed. What recourse do I have?

    I live in NYS
    The estate attorney would not be empowered to give you the money in the trust. That would be the trustee that wields that authority. The executor would transfer estate funds into the trust if the will directed such action. After that it’s up to the trustee. If the money was already in a trust, the estate attorney as well as a the executor was out of the picture the instant your mother died.

    If there is no probate, it would appear your brother is the hold up.

    I dont understand what you want the estate attorney to do. If the accounts you speak of were already held by the trust, it is up to the trustee to provide documents proving your mother has died and set the actions available to the trustee into action.

    And even if anything you suggest is true, it’s your broerher as the executor that is at fault here. The attorney acts under the authority of the executor. The attorney does not have the authority to act unilaterally.


    So, this all comes down to your brother.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Atty Has Not Given Me My Inheritance After 8 Mos

    Thanks!

    Yes - the money that gets collected from the 10 financial accounts (annuities, mutual funds etc.) goes into an account that my brother the executor controls. Then my brother will issue the distributions. However, the atty said no money can be distributed until ALL of the money is collected. There are some minor beneficiaries and the estate atty said he can't calculate percentages until he has collected all of the money. I don't know why he can't just verbally get a balence or have a statement sent and total the balences that way. The reason this comes down on the atty is that For what ever reason MY BROTHER ASSIGNED THE TASK OF REDEEMING THE ACCOUNTS TO THE ATTY! I also think that my brother did not know what he was doing and the atty asserted himself and made my brother think that it was HIS TASK (the atty's) to collect that money so that the atty could gouges us on fees. I told my brother that he should have just filled out the paperwork himself - to redeem the money - and NOT assigned the atty to do it. For whatever reason - my brother had the atty do it. The point is the atty was assigned the task and neglected to fill out the paperwork on some of the accounts for 8 months even though the total amount of time to fill out all the paperwork on all of the 10 accounts would take only approx. 5 hours total - maybe not even. If I had known at the start that my brother could have filled out the paperwork himself - I would have told him to do so.

    Thanks. I guess my brother was under the impression that the atty who set up the trust - was responsible for redeeming the money. I see your point - that my brother did not need to involve the estate atty.

    The estate atty took over redeeming the money either because he snowed my brother or my brother was just plain stupid. The atty had 3-4 meetings where he met with my brothers and sisters. I surmise now that the reason the atty took over - is so that he could gouge us on fees and my brother was too stupid to not know - he could just redeem the money himself. I chastised my brother recently - as to why he didn't just fill out the paperwork himself. My brother totally botched it but I think was also misled by the atty.

    Yes - I have a copy of the trust documents. It was like pulling teeth to get them from the atty and my brother the executor was horrible at his duties and failed to supply them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,648

    Default Re: Atty Has Not Given Me My Inheritance After 8 Mos

    Quote Quoting Gettingrippedoff
    View Post
    Thanks!

    Yes - the money that gets collected from the 10 financial accounts (annuities, mutual funds etc.) goes into an account that my brother the executor controls. Then my brother will issue the distributions. However, the atty said no money can be distributed until ALL of the money is collected. There are some minor beneficiaries and the estate atty said he can't calculate percentages until he has collected all of the money. I don't know why he can't just verbally get a balence or have a statement sent and total the balences that way. The reason this comes down on the atty is that For what ever reason MY BROTHER ASSIGNED THE TASK OF REDEEMING THE ACCOUNTS TO THE ATTY! I also think that my brother did not know what he was doing and the atty asserted himself and made my brother think that it was HIS TASK (the atty's) to collect that money so that the atty could gouges us on fees. I told my brother that he should have just filled out the paperwork himself - to redeem the money - and NOT assigned the atty to do it. For whatever reason - my brother had the atty do it. The point is the atty was assigned the task and neglected to fill out the paperwork on some of the accounts for 8 months even though the total amount of time to fill out all the paperwork on all of the 10 accounts would take only approx. 5 hours total - maybe not even. If I had known at the start that my brother could have filled out the paperwork himself - I would have told him to do so.

    Thanks. I guess my brother was under the impression that the atty who set up the trust - was responsible for redeeming the money. I see your point - that my brother did not need to involve the estate atty.

    The estate atty took over redeeming the money either because he snowed my brother or my brother was just plain stupid. The atty had 3-4 meetings where he met with my brothers and sisters. I surmise now that the reason the atty took over - is so that he could gouge us on fees and my brother was too stupid to not know - he could just redeem the money himself. I chastised my brother recently - as to why he didn't just fill out the paperwork himself. My brother totally botched it but I think was also misled by the atty.
    either the money is already in the trust or it is in the estate prior to the testator/grantors death. If in the trust, the estate procedures have nothing to do with your issue. If the assets were to be placed into the trust due to a pour over will or some other basis, then probate matters. If the accounts have a POD or TOD designation, then probate does not control the asset. It would be up to the designated beneficiary to act and prove the death of the account owner and have the proceeds distributed to them.


    If the estate assets (not trust assets or pod or tod designated assets) can be deposited into the trust, then that is a probate issue. If there is reason they cannot be (such as they may be needed to pay debts of the estate or some percentage of the assets in total are to be deposited into the trust), then the actions cannot be complted until probate has been completed.

    The attorney cannot take over anything the executor or trustee (whichever applies) doesn’t allow them to. The attorney works for the executor or trustee and is subject to their direction.


    You seem to still be confusing the trust and the probate of the estate.

    The attorney that set up the trust has nothing to do with any of this unless the trustee has since contracted with them to provide counsel for the trust.

    So, were the assets you are speaking of assets of the trust or assets of the estate prior to the testator/trustor s death?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Atty Has Not Given Me My Inheritance After 8 Mos

    I didn't have a lot of time right now so not sure if I followed everything you said. Later - I'll re-read but my mothers assets consisted of 10 annuities and mutual funds that were already held in the name of the trust. There was no probate required due to the assets already being held in the trust for 10 years before my mother passed. So my mother bought a NY Life annuity, 10 years ago in the name of the trust etc.

    I think member JK hit the nail on the head - the atty who set up the trust did not even have to be involved and that my brother the executor could have simply filled out the forms to redeem the accounts himself. Why he bothered to have the atty do it - I do not know except I think he too was under the impression that it was the atty's job to redeem the money and the atty did not bother to let my brother know so that he could charge fees for meetings etc that he has held with us. About 1 month ago - the atty stopped returning my calls or emails. I never inundated him w calls - just the opposite. I am going to file w the surrogate court.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    38,648

    Default Re: Atty Has Not Given Me My Inheritance After 8 Mos

    You haven’t posted anything here that would suggest that is appropriate or that it would provide you any benefit


    the first thing you have to do is figure out if this is a probate issue or a trust issue.

    then you need to read the appropriate documents to determine if there appears to be anything stating or making the lack of the distributiOn of funds improper.

    If probate is involved, 8 months is not an overly long time to deal with an estate. It’s getting there but in itself not a real issue yet


    if only the trust is involved, what the trust documents state must be known to determine if there is anything inappropriate.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Atty Has Not Given Me My Inheritance After 8 Mos

    I made a post and hit submit?? It did not show up??

    There is NO PROBATE.

    The trust was set up 10 years ago and the money invested in different mutual funds and annuites. 10 different accounts.

    Based on what you said, I surmise my brother the executor was clueless and did not know he could fill out the papers himself. Throughout the 10 years since the trust was set up - the atty always did everything so maybe my brother just figured it was the atty's job to redeem the money - or the atty conned him into it. Or maybe my brother just did not want to do that work as he's already rich and is in no need of the money - unlike myself.

    I have the trust documents - it states the money is to be distributed to the heirs. It does not set a timeline. All due respect - I am guess that the surrogate court who I am going to file a complaint with will tell me in atty world - not distributing money for 8 months is fine and dandy. Nowhere else is it ok - anywhere else its an abomination and massive malfeasance and an atrocity of the first magnitude. Thanks for your link that states an atty can just dilly dally for up to 7 months. I was in the investment field and I would have been fired, sued and perhaps even prosecuted if I had delayed for even 7 weeks or even 7 days!

    It looks like I am simply screwed due to atty world rules. Present company excluded.

    Thanks for your help and insight. Its shedded all the light needed and I now understand that the surrogate court will probably tell me to pound sand and the incompetent, decrepit atty is all fine and dandy.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Atty Has Not Given Me My Inheritance After 8 Mos

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post

    The NY statute (if I am reading it correctly) gives the trustee 7 months to distribute the assets.
    It doesn't require the complete distribution of the trust within 7 months. It provides for distribution of pecuniary amounts to beneficiaries out of income of the trust within 7 months, and if that amount is insufficient to pay that, the beneficiary gets a portion of that paid based on the formula in the statute. So the beneficiary should get something within 7 months, assuming the trust does not say otherwise, but might not get all of his/her entire share of it within that time.

    For the OP: you need to first read the trust to see what it says about distributions. It is also important to know what taxes and other expenses the trust may have to pay. It is going to need to keep at least enough assets to ensure that those things are paid.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Atty Has Not Given Me My Inheritance After 8 Mos

    Thanks but I do not understand in what context you use the word, "pecuniary". Doesn't pecuniary simply mean "money"?

    I think what you are saying, is the executor does not have to pay out all of the money within 7 months?

    I thought I had already stated - I HAVE READ THE TRUST - THE TRUST STATES, "THE MONEY IS TO BE DISTRIBUTE EQUALLY TO MY HEIRS". PERIOD!!!! It does not state a deadline - only that the money must be distributed.

    People - there are no extenuating circumstances here that would cause the atty or executor to delay other than they are lazy *ss jerks!

    There was NO PROBATE! One of the purposes of setting up the trust was to LEGALLY AVOID PROBATE!

    There are no other pending issues or problems. All due respect - stop making this all so complicated! I appreciate the advice of lawyers and others here but all due respect lawyers seem to want to make this more complicated than it is! Just stop! It's as simple as this - my mother died and my idiot executor brother - for whatever reason - tasked the atty who set up the trust - with redeeming the 10 financial accounts held in the trust. My brother was either snowed by the atty into thinking that HE (the atty) had to liquidate the trust ir was just plain stupid or lazy to know he could have liquidated the accounts himself - or all of the above.

    So it's as simple as this people - the atty who suckered us into having him redeem the accounts - probably did that so he can continue to make fees off of us. He has held 2-4 meetings w the heirs periodically throughout the process.

    But all that was required - was SOMEONE - my brother or the atty - to fill out 15 minutes worth of paperwork (per account) and send it in along w death certificate and the trust information. VIOLA - the financial institutions send the money to you in 3 -10 business days. THAT IS WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED! I don't know why it is so difficult for everyone to understand that!

    So what this comes down to - CAN ATTY'S SIMPLY DILLY DALLY FOR 2/3RDS OF A YEAR, A YEAR 2 YEARS WITHOUT DISTRIBUTING THE MONEY????? IS THERE NO OVERSIGHT????? Can't the atty's be held accountable? It seems as though they can do whatever they want and just hang onto the money as long as they want!

    Yes- my idiot brother is remiss in that he's allowed the atty to get away with it all. I myself, even though I am beneficiary only and not trustee - rode the atty all throughout this to get me my money but he mostly just ignored me!!

    I guess in atty world - not doing what non-atty world considers right and appropriate - never enters the equation!

    Part of what I am asking - WHAT RECOURSE DO I HAVE?

    I filed a grievance with the Fifth District Court Grievance committee they wrote back saying, "we have limited authority to investigate lawyers"???? wt heeeeeeeeeeccccccccccck does that mean? Isn't that the entire purpose of the Grievance committee????? I think also they meant to say that the realtionship is between my brother and the atty and as a beneficiary - the case does not fall under their authority.

    I think I need to file a complaint w the SURROGATE court.

    Atty's seem to operate as though they were from a totally different planet whereby they can string heirs out from their inheritance, w no obligation or recourse, for as long as they want!

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