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  • FIRST POST
    • Valone
    • By Valone 29th Nov 17, 5:56 PM
    • 7Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Valone
    Stolen Inheritance through legal loop hole
    • #1
    • 29th Nov 17, 5:56 PM
    Stolen Inheritance through legal loop hole 29th Nov 17 at 5:56 PM
    Hi,
    I'm new here and didn't know where else to seek advice.

    I think I've discovered a 'legal' way of stealing a child's inheritance.

    My two children from my previous marriage were left cheques for £3.5k & £2.5k when their paternal grandmother sadly passed away earlier this year.
    Their father lives 130 miles away from where I moved with the children and was given a cheque each, made out in my children's full names, and opened bank accounts for them in his home town. He opened 'trust' accounts with him having sole access to the cash.
    We have learnt today that both bank accounts have been emptied (history repeating itself as this is why I divorced him and moved away).
    Can this be legal? The children weren't present when the accounts were opened (they are 14 & 15 years old) and he simply had their birth certificates. There was no will leaving the money in 'trust' simply cheques made out in their names.
    Any advice or is it a case of the children just accepting that their father is lower than low?

    Many thanks,
    Valone
Page 1
    • jonesMUFCforever
    • By jonesMUFCforever 29th Nov 17, 6:08 PM
    • 24,256 Posts
    • 11,538 Thanks
    jonesMUFCforever
    • #2
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:08 PM
    • #2
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:08 PM
    By trust do you mean he was the adult with signing responsibility on the accounts?
    If so legally he has done nothing illegal.
    The account would have been open with a birth certificate (sufficient ID for a child) the cheque deposited and withdrawn when cleared.

    I agree with your quote that he seems to be the lowest of the low.

    What can you do? Write a letter before action asking what he has spent the money on - if you get a reply you are not happy with or no reply consider legal action. Take care as this will cost you more money with no guarantee of success.
    What goes around - comes around
    give lots and you will always receive lots
    • Valone
    • By Valone 29th Nov 17, 6:17 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Valone
    • #3
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:17 PM
    • #3
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:17 PM
    Many thanks for your reply. Yes, he had signing responsibilities,

    It just seems bizarre that cheques made out personally, can be cashed and withdrawn so easily.

    They are at a young age to discover such unsavoury characteristics of someone they previously idolised - not much idolising going on this evening for them 😔
    • Shakin Steve
    • By Shakin Steve 29th Nov 17, 6:25 PM
    • 1,138 Posts
    • 848 Thanks
    Shakin Steve
    • #4
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:25 PM
    • #4
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:25 PM
    What a low life. Unfortunately, I can’t see that he’s done anything illegal. Of course, it’s morally reprehensible, but not against the law.
    I opened a similar account for my son in 2001, all I needed was his birth certificate. Even though he is now 18, and there is a considerable amount of money in there, he wants me to keep running the account as his trustee so he can get the 1.5% interest. I don’t have to put it in his name till he’s 21. In September I withdrew £1000 from it to go towards his rent at university. The teller said to me “As this is such a large amount, I have to ask if it’s for the benefit of the child”. I answered yes and she handed over the cash.
    If I wanted to be a complete b***ard, I could empty it. All his birthday money, the money his Nan and uncles gave him, his pocket money he saved........gone! And perfectly legal.
    I came into this world with nothing and I've got most of it left.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 29th Nov 17, 6:29 PM
    • 4,941 Posts
    • 3,948 Thanks
    glentoran99
    • #5
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:29 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:29 PM
    how can this be legal in anyway? The money was left to the Children, regardless of the bank accounts cashing and withdrawing the money may have been legal but spending the money left to the children not to the benefit of the children has to be illegal
    • Shakin Steve
    • By Shakin Steve 29th Nov 17, 6:34 PM
    • 1,138 Posts
    • 848 Thanks
    Shakin Steve
    • #6
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:34 PM
    • #6
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:34 PM
    I think I’m right in saying that, as the sole trustee, he can more or less do what he likes. It would certainly be a long, drawn-out, expensive road through the courts, with little chance of success.
    I came into this world with nothing and I've got most of it left.
    • Valone
    • By Valone 29th Nov 17, 6:45 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Valone
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:45 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:45 PM
    Yes, the bank advised me contacting a solicitor but I couldn't afford it.

    Their dad is currently saying:

    A) "I mixed up my bank card with their bank card"
    B) "I wanted to protect their money so I moved it to secret account ( hmmm - apparently in £10, £20, £50, £150 & £250 withdrawals from various cash machines through his home town"?

    It just isn't right and feeling this powerless is awful....
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 29th Nov 17, 6:52 PM
    • 56,255 Posts
    • 49,623 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:52 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 17, 6:52 PM
    Hi,
    I think I've discovered a 'legal' way of stealing a child's inheritance.
    Originally posted by Valone
    Only in the extreme circumstances as you describe. The executors of the estate should have taken more care rather than simply sending cheques payable to the children. .
    “Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble”
    ― Warren Buffett
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 29th Nov 17, 7:04 PM
    • 7,308 Posts
    • 9,053 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    • #9
    • 29th Nov 17, 7:04 PM
    • #9
    • 29th Nov 17, 7:04 PM
    While his operation of the accounts isn't likely to be against the bank's terms and conditions this is patently an act of theft.

    Involve the police.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 29th Nov 17, 7:10 PM
    • 23,677 Posts
    • 13,800 Thanks
    xylophone
    He opened accounts in the names of the children.

    In effect he was "bare trustee". The money belonged to the children.


    As Trustee he was able to control the accounts.

    He has withdrawn money from the accounts.

    If he has spent this money on himself rather than for the benefit of the children he has taken their money.

    This is an abuse of trust.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=trustee+stealing+from+bare+trust&oq=trust ee+stealing+from+bare+trust&aqs=chrome..69i57.2208 1j1j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    Q My ex has taken my children's savings. Can I do anything about it?

    I got this tweet from a mother last week. It turns out to be £15,000 of their savings; the dad's absconded and has no contact.
    If the money is in a child's name, it's their cash. However, for younger children the usual practice is to nominate a signatory (for example a parent or grandparent) who can manage and withdraw the cash without the child's approval, usually until the child is 16 – though some accounts let you give the child control earlier.
    So for younger children it's quite easy for parents to use their cash; for older ones, you would need their permission.
    As for whether it is legal to do so, I've consulted lawyers who, as is often the case, had mixed views. Some say it is criminal fraud, others say there's nothing in practice to stop it – though you could attempt a civil suit for breach of fiduciary responsibility.
    • Valone
    • By Valone 29th Nov 17, 7:11 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Valone
    The bank said the police wouldn't want to know but I do have a friend who is an officer and I'm going to see him tomorrow - thanks (until I joined this site I thought I was wrong - clearly I'm not)
    • Shakin Steve
    • By Shakin Steve 29th Nov 17, 7:20 PM
    • 1,138 Posts
    • 848 Thanks
    Shakin Steve
    He opened accounts in the names of the children.

    In effect he was "bare trustee". The money belonged to the children.


    As Trustee he was able to control the accounts.

    He has withdrawn money from the accounts.

    If he has spent this money on himself rather than for the benefit of the children he has taken their money.

    This is an abuse of trust.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=trustee+stealing+from+bare+trust&oq=trust ee+stealing+from+bare+trust&aqs=chrome..69i57.2208 1j1j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
    Originally posted by xylophone
    Is abuse of trust a criminal offence?
    I came into this world with nothing and I've got most of it left.
    • Valone
    • By Valone 29th Nov 17, 7:31 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Valone
    Xylophone - thank you!
    I'll seek advice 'xylophone' thank you.
    None of the cash has been given to the children - their dad has a new car and had a holiday this year! My kids didn't!

    How did he become nominated trustee as the children have not lived with him for 11 years now. They see him twice a year and even then I have to meet him half way.

    It was quieter and more peaceful before we ever knew about this money - their grandmother would be distraught - she was a great woman and came to see the children every couple of months without fail (and came all the way too!)
    Sorry - I'm getting bitter - I'll stick to the point
    Thank you 😊
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 29th Nov 17, 7:37 PM
    • 5,364 Posts
    • 11,021 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    Who was the executor?

    They had a responsibility to carry out the will in giving the money to the people it was meant for, they did not do that, they gave it via someone else. Were your children told the cheque had been given to their father? if so I don't think they can be held responsible as it was then up to your children to make sure their father looked after thier money. If your children were not told the funds had been released and have only found out now the money has gone I don't think the executor has acted very responsibily.
    • Valone
    • By Valone 29th Nov 17, 8:12 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Valone
    The children knew money had been left as their grandmother always told them she was putting money away for them.
    They were told the cheques were at their fathers but they were never given a choice about them. Their father insisted on telling them he was banking them for them and they could have it simply by asking. It's when my daughter asked if she could have some that suspicion was raised as her father started shouting at her and told her not to go and try and access the account. She is 16 now and went to the bank and confirmed the account was empty, showing her all the drawings from the day the cheque was paid in ��
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 29th Nov 17, 8:26 PM
    • 30,842 Posts
    • 18,447 Thanks
    getmore4less
    The children will need to sue the father when they are 18.

    It is fairly common for executor to make parent(s) trustees for a minors legacy.

    I would check if they should have appointed two trustees as it was minors.
    They may have been negligent if two were required and they gave the money to just the father.
    • IanManc
    • By IanManc 29th Nov 17, 9:56 PM
    • 368 Posts
    • 547 Thanks
    IanManc
    Unless the will made specific provision for the money to be paid to trustees then the executors haven't acted unreasonably in giving cheques for the money in the names of the children to a parent.

    The parent, having opened trust accounts, has thereafter appropriated the money and acted as if he were the beneficial owner of it and emptied the accounts. That appropriation is theft, and you should contact the police.

    The executors aren't at fault, the bank isn't at fault - you should go after the father, who is a thief.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the involvement of the police suddenly caused the money to reappear.
    Last edited by IanManc; 29-11-2017 at 9:58 PM.
    • IanSt
    • By IanSt 30th Nov 17, 9:23 AM
    • 153 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    IanSt
    Any advice or is it a case of the children just accepting that their father is lower than low?
    Originally posted by Valone
    I don't know what means you have of contacting him, but perhaps just the mention that you are considering contacting the police may be enough to get him to pass the money across to your children.

    If it works then it saves you the cost of any legal fees etc. I doubt that he's going to come on here and check whether someone has the legal right to do so, and just the thought of police involvement might make him realise the consequences of his lowly behaviour.
    • Mnd
    • By Mnd 30th Nov 17, 12:21 PM
    • 268 Posts
    • 291 Thanks
    Mnd
    I agree, somehow let it be known that you are going to involve the police, but then see it through if necessary, don't make it an idle threat
    • cloud_dog
    • By cloud_dog 30th Nov 17, 5:56 PM
    • 3,309 Posts
    • 1,866 Thanks
    cloud_dog
    Take him to the small claims court. Process here.
    Personal Responsibility - Sad but True

    Sometimes.... I am like a dog with a bone
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