Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Florida

My sister & brother "stole" money. Using her Durable POA, sister withdrew $10K (full balance) and closed an account that I was sole beneficiary of) all while under the "watchful eye" of WFB. I have hard copy verification of this and other "transactions" my sister and brother have made while handling mom's estate. Can I sue my sister & brother? And how likely would it be that I could include the bank in a lawsuit for errors made on their part?

Asked on 4/06/13, 7:51 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Barry Stein De Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & Zachary

If they had legal authority to remove the money, then you may have no claims at all. Seek some legal guidance along with all your documentation. Not sure what WFB is at all. Your status as beneficiary does not give you standing to do anything necessarily as it only means you get what is there upon death. If nothing, you would get nothing. You then mention "handling mom's estate". Do you mean a probate estate or just her assets while alive. This matters. Rights to assets get fixed upon death and POA are no longer valid after death.

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Answered on 4/07/13, 5:37 am
Marc J. Soss Marc J. Soss, Esquire

If your sister withdrew the funds, pursuant to her Power of Attorney for the benefit of your mother, then you will have no claim against her or WFB. However, if the money was solely withdrawn to terminate your beneficial interest in the account then you may have a claim against your sister. WFB will probably be protected by virtue of relying upon the POA.

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Answered on 4/08/13, 5:05 pm

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