Unfair estate administration actions could have negative effects

After loved ones die, family members are often put in charge of the remaining estate. The estate administration can play a significant role in the lives of the surviving family members and other individuals who may be affected by the terms of any estate plans. Maryland residents may be interested in a case that was recently reported on that involved estate issues among siblings.

The report indicated that after their parents deaths, two brothers were co-executors and co-trustees of the estates and trusts. However, as time went on, it was discovered by other siblings that the brothers were misusing their positions. The brothers would reportedly only share certain information with their sisters, which resulted in the sisters being considerably out of the know when it came to the running of their parents’ estates. 

The brothers would, apparently, instigate conflict among the siblings in order to keep them from seeking additional information. Additionally, though the estate plans dictated that the children would be treated equally, the brothers manipulated the plans in order to keep stocks and other valuable assets for themselves while their sisters were negatively affected. The sisters filed a lawsuit against their brothers, and the outcome of the suit resulted in a ruling that the brothers must repay profits that were unjustly earned as well as interest. The total amount came to over $580  million. 

When individuals manipulate estate plans and make the situations unfair for everyone involved, there may be reason to take legal action. As this case shows, individuals can be negatively affected by the actions of parties taking advantage of their positions in an estate administration. Maryland residents who are facing such circumstances may wish to consider taking legal action of their own to potentially rectify wrongdoings. 

Source: lexology.com, “More Than $500 Million Awarded in Compensatory Damages for the Fraud of Defendants in Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Osborn v. Griffin“, Janet P. Jakubowicz and Benjamin J. Lewis, Sept. 21, 2016

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