Los Angeles, CA asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for Maryland

Q: A relative of my elderly mother is trustee. He has been using funds personally but says she will run out of money.

He is a very ruthless attorney but presents well. He has been unresponsive to her care team and myself for replacement hearing aid at one point (which I had to fight for), he is not authorizing additional care for a fractured elbow and has instead suggested things like giving her sleeping pills, using a walker etc. I live in LA but recently visited and took photos of the personal withdrawals by his family. These funds could be used for her care. I have contacted APS and they feel an investigation is appropriate. I would like to know what my legal options are as well bc my mother is intimidated by him and though concerned will not confront him. I do not know the total amount my mom has but her Morgan Stanley account shows over 1/2 M dollars.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Why is there a trust? Who created the trust? How was the trustee appointed? Is this a court appointed guardian as opposed to a private trustee? What is your evidence supporting your claims that the attorney and his family have taken funds for their personal use? (If this is true that is a crime--a serious crime--so be very careful about making accusations for which you have no clear evidence.) Is your mother mentally competent? Has there been a recent medical evaluation of her competency? Is your mother the sole beneficiary of this trust?

Your mother has the right to receive a full accounting of the assets in the trust, showing balances and transactions in and out of the trust, as well as a copy of the trust document. This is assuming it is a trust and not a court-ordered guardianship. A lawyer would have to review the trust document and answers to the questions above before making any recommendations.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.