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Old 01-22-2016, 11:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1
alcohilic brother is named ad trustee of my special needs trust.

Hi Everybody,

I am disabled, 60 years old and am on SSI. I am disabled by Spina Bifida. I have had a spotty work history but I am mentally competent. I have a college education in Political Science and Sociology from St Lawrence University in Canton NY. live in Pierce County, Washington State.

My Mom died recently and left me a special needs trust. My brother who is a real estate lawyer was named executor of the will and administrator of my trust. My cousin is listed as an alternate. According to the will he is to distribute the assets of my Mom equally between the five kids, me included. Each of my other siblings are to get lump sums. I am however to get a Special Needs trust. The amount is still to be determined because it has just entered probate, or so I think.

Now the fun part.

My end of the will should be around $35k to 75K. My brother, the executor of the will is an alcoholic. He has been in five different treatment centers. His alcoholic behavior has been in the newspaper. He has been censured by the New York State Bar for his behavior. He has had his driving license taken away. He can get it back if he has a breathalyzer attached to his ignition but refused to do so, preferring to drink. He tries to keep ithis drinking secret but it is a wide open family secret. Because of this I have asked that my cousin, who is a criminal lawyer and who is also named as trustee in a second special needs trust (from my Aunt who is still alive), to be my administrator for my Mom's will too. My cousin agreed to this. My alcoholic brother also agreed to this. There was verbal confirmation at the funeral, nothing in writing.

However I was asked to sign a "wavier of issuance of citation" by the lawyer who is handling the will, that lists my alcoholic brother as administrator of my trust. Unfortunately I signed it. I was told by my sister, who also an alcoholic that it doesn't mean anything and it is necessary to get the ball rolling. I included a note to the attorney that this signature was with the understanding that my cousin was to be the administrator of my special needs trust, not my brother. The lawyer sent back a reply to me and all my siblings that because I included this request to have my cousin be the administrator of my trust, the whole process would have to restart.

My question is first, Is my brother up to some skulduggery naming himself as administrator of my trust or is this just a way to expedite the will in probate?

Second, If my brother doesn't want my cousin to administrator my trust and insists he do it, what are my remedies? Can I force my brother to change his mind? My cousin was named as an alternate administrator in my Mom's will.

Third, assuming my alcoholic brother is now my new administrator of my special needs trust, what is to keep him from running away with the money? What are his reporting duties, do I need a lawyer to take him to court if I think he's stealing from me, or is there an agency I can report him to?


Any help would be greatly appreciated.

PS. One more thing. I am a recovering alcoholic with 17 years sobriety. My training when I was in alcohol treatment said I should associate with alcoholics or associate with toxic "persons, places or things"

Last edited by Hulk701; 01-23-2016 at 12:34 AM.
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