There are many temptations for executors and estate administrators. However, it would be wise to resist them.
A judge sentenced an estate administrator to seven years in prison for misusing assets, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch in “Charlottesville businessman gets 7 years for defrauding best friend’s widow out of $32 million.”
When Victor M. Dandridge III’s best friend passed away in 2005, he offered to take care of the estate for the widow, Lynne Kinder. Dandridge promised her that he would invest her late husband’s assets conservatively for her.
Instead, he took millions of dollars out of the accounts and used them to invest in his own failing businesses.
Dandridge claims he always meant to pay her back, when his businesses got better and he had the money.
The broad powers and often limited oversight estate administrators are given, makes it possible for them to take estate assets for their own use.
Since courts cannot micromanage everything, the beneficiaries of estates need to be diligent.
If they suspect something improper is happening, they should seek the assistance of independent counsel immediately.