A ‘black widow’ who married a man on his death bed just eight days before he died has been jailed for stealing his granddaughter’s inheritance.

Being the administrator of an estate comes with great responsibility. Who would you choose to handle your own estate? Can they be trusted to do as you wish?

Eight days before he passed away, Roy Mitchell married a woman named Judith Brown. Months prior, Mitchell had already changed his estate plan to leave the bulk of his assets to Brown. However, he still stipulated that a portion of his estate was to be divided between his four grandchildren.

As the administrator of the estate, Brown’s job was to make sure that the grandchildren received their money. However, she never gave any of the funds to the grandchildren.

Instead, Brown spent it on herself. She has now been imprisoned for two years for theft.

The Daily Mail has more on the story in an article titled “‘Black Widow’ who married man on his death bed just eight days before he died is jailed for stealing his grandchild’s inheritance.”

A criminal conviction and jail time are among the potential consequences awaiting administrators who do not properly distribute an estate under their charge. An administrator can also be forced to pay the money back out of his or her own assets.

This is one reason why an administrator should have an attorney to assist with the estate. Not only can the attorney guide the administrator through the legal hoops, but he or she can help make sure all is done according to the estate plan.

In Brown’s case it appears she acted intentionally. However, even if you have no intention of mismanaging the estate, you can be held liable if things go wrong.

Again, it cannot be emphasized too emphatically – you need an attorney to help ensure everything is done correctly.

Do You Need The Help Of A Trust & Estate Administration Attorney In California?

If you need legal help with an estate or trust issue you should speak with an experienced trust and estate administration attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 800.756.5596 to claim your space at one of our free, informative seminars. Your attendance will qualify you for a discount for our estate and trust administration services. We proudly serve clients throughout California with offices in Torrance, Newport Beach, Orange, Woodland Hills and Pasadena.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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