We usually think that we can trust our relatives, especially our grandparents. However, a recent story out of Wisconsin details how one grandmother lied and stole her granddaughter’s inheritance.
When Betty Coleman's ex-husband passed away, he left a $50,000 inheritance for their granddaughter. Coleman lied in court about her criminal past so she could become the trustee of that inheritance.
She then proceeded to waste the entire inheritance on her own frivolous expenses, including alcohol and tobacco.
The granddaughter won a judgment against Coleman a couple of years ago, and now Coleman will face criminal charges for her theft.
The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel has more on this story in "Grandmother accused of wiping out girl's $50,000 inheritance."
This case highlights the importance of being careful when leaving an inheritance to a minor.
The minor will not be allowed to handle the funds for him or herself. Instead, someone will have to be appointed by a probate court.
It is important that you plan ahead and nominate someone trustworthy for this role. Courts will tend to appoint close relatives, but the court might not always know why that particular relative should not be trusted.
If you have questions about leaving an inheritance to a minor, contact an estate planning attorney to learn how to best do it.
Reference: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (April 22, 2015) "Grandmother accused of wiping out girl's $50,000 inheritance."