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  1. #1
    merickso8 Guest


    I am writing as an advocate for a friend- he is a 30 year old male who had a brain injury at the age of 17- he has since lived on his own since the age of 23 maintaining a home and going to the community college- he works as a job coach and I would say that his character is upstanding and he is more than able to live indepentley- he recently found out he has a trust fund from a grandparent- a large trust fund- he was asked by his parents to meet with a lawyer about the money last week being told it was to help him pay off his small home mortgaged at 19,000- as it turned out he was asked to sign a piece of paper which he did not sign and I have read some of it- it basically states that the money will be given to the mother to care for his mental maintenance and he would never have control over the monies- he did not sign it- he has obtained a copy of the will and we have the paper he was asked to sign- the parents are alcoholics and the father self employed in painting- they have not helped this person at all for the past 8 years and it appears obvious they are trying to steal the money- we need a lawyer to defend him in or near Syracuse NY who would only charge a fee if the case is won and on a sliding scale, although the money is such that a lawyer would make a great sum if even paid only say, 30% of the total- any ideas? thank you greatly-

  2. #2
    Tracey Guest


    Except in personal injury cases, contingent fees are probably forbidden in NY.

    Check out the legal aid society and any nearby law schools to see if he qualifies for help. Also, lay out the merits of the case to some trust/estate lawyers. If he can cover initial costs, you may find an attorney who willing to take a lien on the house and pursue the case and get paid at the end. Also, if grandpa's estate is still in probate (and it probably is since no successor trustee has been named), it may be the executor's duty to pay for a determination of competancy/designation of trustee from the estate. The executor is bound to carry out grandpa's wishes, not mom and dad's. If mom or dad is the executor, move in probate court that they and their attorney be disqualified for breach of fiduciary duty. Their actions smell very fishy to me.

    If he is competant to handle his finances, grandpa's executor MUST turn the money over to him. Tell him not to sign anything unless his own lawyer OKs it first. He can file a petition for determination of competancy on his own. The court will hear the evidence and determine if he is competant. Once it issues an order saying so, the trust fund is his.

    If that doesn't work, simply ask the court to declare that the parents be excluded from acting as trustees. Explain that they are alcoholic spendthrifts who will drink up the fund and not use it for his benefit and have already tried to gain control of the money. He can request that you be named trustee, or the court can name a disinterested party. Probate courts take a dim view of self-dealing executors. Make lots of noise and the judge will step in.

    Finally, have him make out a will NOW. Don't tell him what to put in it. His interest in the trust fund is an asset he can probably devise by will (check the trust terms). If he does not make a will, his parents probably get everything. Let's not give them motive, eh?

    Good luck.

    This is not legal advice and you are not my client. Double check everything with your own attorney and your state's laws.

  3. #3
    merickso8 Guest


    thank you very much!- i will keep you updated-

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