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Siblings sue lawyers and CPAs, saying millions taken from estate

It is sad to think of a Lee County family being torn apart after the death of a loved one because of a fight over inheritances. Drawing up a last will and testament and consulting with an estate planning professional can do a lot to make sure this doesn't happen, but sometimes it cannot prevent everything.

One set of siblings who are experiencing a certain level of upheaval after the death of their parents know this all too well. Though their mother had a will before she died, its validity is being challenged in court. Apparently she had two wills -- one drawn up in 2007 and another in 2009. The later one was challenged by seven of the 11 siblings because they believe their mother was unduly influenced.

The seven siblings, children of the late owner of a country club, have filed a lawsuit against several accountants and law firms for taking millions of dollars from the estate. Although they claim that three of their siblings collaborated with the defendants, the siblings are not named in the lawsuit.

Shortly after their father's death, several of the siblings believe that the two of their brothers and a sister tried to gain control of their mother's trusts with the help of the defendants. After their mother's death a little over eight years later, the three allegedly tried to take the majority of the estate with the help of their lawyer.

Even if your estate is small compared to these country club owners, it is important that you make your wishes known in a last will and testament. A lawyer can help you draw up a will that is legally binding and will hold up after your death. Doing so could help your loved ones avoid messy situations like the one discussed above.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Lawyers 'Loot & Pillage' Estate, Siblings Say," Jack Bouboushian, Feb. 4, 2013

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