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Executor of estate accessory after the fact

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#1
South Carolina (only U.S. law)?

A friend of mine was appointed executor of the estate for her mother. There are five siblings. One of the siblings had some monies coming to him and he fraudulently signed his mother's name on a check. All the children were aware that this money was due their brother. Only one sibling is making an issue. This brother has informed my friend who is the executor of the estate that she will be arrested today for accessory after the fact because she did not press charges against the other brother.
Is this a possibility? Surely he just can't call the police and say arrest my sister?
The two brothers are still fighting about the GI Joe they received for Christmas when they were 7 and 8 LOL
 


quincy

Senior Member
#2
South Carolina (only U.S. law)?

A friend of mine was appointed executor of the estate for her mother. There are five siblings. One of the siblings had some monies coming to him and he fraudulently signed his mother's name on a check. All the children were aware that this money was due their brother. Only one sibling is making an issue. This brother has informed my friend who is the executor of the estate that she will be arrested today for accessory after the fact because she did not press charges against the other brother.
Is this a possibility? Surely he just can't call the police and say arrest my sister?
The two brothers are still fighting about the GI Joe they received for Christmas when they were 7 and 8 LOL
Crimes and suspected crimes can be reported to the police by anyone. The police will investigate complaints.
 
#3
Quincy what would you recommend her to do? She does not want the police to show up at her house with her child or at her place of business.
Surely if he reported it today it would take some time to investigate? They would get in touch with her?
 

quincy

Senior Member
#4
Quincy what would you recommend her to do? She does not want the police to show up at her house with her child or at her place of business.
Surely if he reported it today it would take some time to investigate? They would get in touch with her?
Your friend won't have a choice as to when (or if) the police contact her. She might receive a phone call asking her to call to discuss the complaint.

If asked questions by the police, she can exercise her right to remain silent and refer all questions to her attorney.
 
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#6
Following is a link to a South Carolina Supreme Court case that discusses aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty. It is a civil not a criminal action.

Bennett v. Carter, 2017 WL 5163467: https://www.sccourts.org/opinions/HTMLFiles/sc/27748.pdf
And that case suggests that merely failing to make a criminal complaint to the police about it, without more, would not even trigger a successful aiding and abetting claim. Some more active involvement in the brother’s alleged wrongdoing would be needed for that.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#7
And that case suggests that merely failing to make a criminal complaint to the police about it, without more, would not even trigger a successful aiding and abetting claim. Some more active involvement in the brother’s alleged wrongdoing would be needed for that.
Yes. The specific facts will matter in any legal action. :)

But nothing prevents the one brother from kicking up a fuss and filing a complaint, whether there is good reason to or not.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
#8
South Carolina (only U.S. law)?

A friend of mine was appointed executor of the estate for her mother. There are five siblings. One of the siblings had some monies coming to him and he fraudulently signed his mother's name on a check. All the children were aware that this money was due their brother. Only one sibling is making an issue. This brother has informed my friend who is the executor of the estate that she will be arrested today for accessory after the fact because she did not press charges against the other brother.
Is this a possibility? Surely he just can't call the police and say arrest my sister?
The two brothers are still fighting about the GI Joe they received for Christmas when they were 7 and 8 LOL
I would think that if the executor of the estate accounted for that money in the estate and made distributions based on brother receiving that specific money separately, that it would satisfy things legally for the executor.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
#10
In this situation, maybe.

But legally, ends do not justify means.
Of course they do not and I am not saying that absolves the brother for his crime. I am saying that its a way for the executor of the estate (who did not commit any crime) to legally account for the money and ensure no unjust enrichment on the brother's part.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#11
Of course they do not and I am not saying that absolves the brother for his crime. I am saying that its a way for the executor of the estate (who did not commit any crime) to legally account for the money and ensure no unjust enrichment on the brother's part.
It would not absolve the executor of any crime, either.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
#12
It would not absolve the executor of any crime, either.
What crime has the executor committed? Or even what potential crime could the executor have committed? If the executor is properly accounting for the estate and the distribution of the assets there is no breach of fiduciary duty.
 

HRZ

Senior Member
#13
Forgery is a crime and it's not up for a popular vote among the benificaries to decide what to do about it .

The executor has a duty to protect the assets entrusted to his or her administration ...and if some nit wit forges a signature on an account entrusted to my administration I'd waste no time to report it to appropriate law enforcement . ( I might give nit wit a tiny time window to make full restitution before I make the call..just in case he thinks restitution will go in his favor withn DA )
 

quincy

Senior Member
#14
What crime has the executor committed? Or even what potential crime could the executor have committed? If the executor is properly accounting for the estate and the distribution of the assets there is no breach of fiduciary duty.
Read the case I cited.

We do not KNOW that the sister/executor did not commit a crime. It does not appear she "aided and abetted" the brother, however, based on the little we have been provided in the way of information.

But she distributed estate funds to the brother based on checks that she knew (according to the first post) were forged. It is not a defense to say the money was due the brother anyway.
 
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HRZ

Senior Member
#15
I don't believe OP states executor distributed funds ,,,merely that one beneficiary did a self help distribution via forgery.
 
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