My grandparents, Jerry W. and Billie J. C., hired an estate lawyer named VJ Jones to plan and draft trust documents for them in March 1991. When Jerry passed away in 2000, the children and grandchildren were supposed to be able to access their part of a $700,000 dollar life policy, along with Jerry’s half of the estate, but their accountant and trustee, David Ash, didn’t follow the probate code. Ash kept their money from them for 13.5 years, some beneficiaries died before gaining any funds so I am using this forum to complain. Jerry and Billie owned a large home, a few automobiles, a farming business, and an RV park located at . which was sold far under market value. Billie used a Realty Concepts agent named Gary Kittredge to obtain a value of $2.8 Million dollars, but a commercial appraisal probably would show a value of about $4.7 Million. They chose not obtain one and this is part of the problem the family is having with the whole thing. Ash and the people involved have not adhered to California State probate codes and have done wrong by my grandparents and their family. Since we never had the paperwork that Ash was obligated to record and distribute, I looked up information in Liza Hanks’ book, The Trustee’s Legal Companion, A Step-by-Step Guide to Administering a Living Trust, First Edition by Nolo. The following list was taken from this book: 1) Trustee must send special notice after grantor dies. Cal. Probate Code SS 16060.5 – 16061.8 2) Statutory requirement for annual accounting to beneficiaries. Cal. Probate Code S 16062 3) Reasonable fee for a small trust at 1.1%, a large trust at .5% or less. Nonprofessional trustees charge less than this. 4) Always document your actions. If you’re selling property, get an appraisal and notify the beneficiaries ahead of time. 5) Spendthrift clause protects against gambling, borrowing, or creditors. 6) Breach of trust, a court charge is called when any rules are violated. 7) Ash showed a single K-1 tax form and asked for money from beneficiaries to pay taxes in year one, without showing any annual accounting, bank statements, or investment account statements. There was no tax planning and he should have distributed income to set a tax rate that worked best due to 35% estate tax. Ash made no distributions. 8) Written request for any documents given 60 days to respond or court action. Cal. Probate Code S 17200(b)7d 9) VJ and Dave were asked about distributions and income amounts to avoid overspending. There was no talk of a business manager at the time. After all of this, there were many hardships that we suffered, including disability and some deaths. Jerry’s two sons died, and his grand-daughter died. I became injured at work more than once and then hospitalized due to food poisoning, causing serious injury, before finding out my identity had been stolen. Other family members died or became hospitalized, usually after eating food. My family really needed these professionals to do right by us. I feel like we were swindled and there just wasn’t any oversight. Even though I have hired an estate lawyer to file petitions in court, Ash played games with the documents and gave them to a family member. That one hasn’t produced anything and is now petitioned to go to court. Ash actually made me serve him to get to court! Shouldn’t someone have reported him to the State of California? Doesn’t some agency make sure that consumers don’t get scammed this way? I want Ash to disclose everything to each one of the beneficiaries and to make good on any losses. I think we were all entitled to better treatment than this.
On numerous occaisions legal Aid has been contacted to assist a disabled client. | There is always an excuse to not take your case. |
I have similar troubles with them, except, I kept working until their invoices kept piling up. | this is a very bad company. | More
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