Court Orders Step-Siblings to Return Funds to Estate and Pay Costs
The case arose out of the following facts: J.P. and Henry’s clients, Tracy and Virginia, were the children of a woman (Colleen) who left the vast majority of her estate to her second husband, who was Tracy and Virginia’s step-father. After Colleen died, the step-father changed his will and left virtually all of his assets (including Colleen’s assets) to his natural children. Tracy and Virginia discovered the change after their step-father passed away, and the civil proceeding started soon after the natural children of the step-father refused to share the assets of the step-father’s estate.
Approximately a year into the proceeding, J.P. and Henry discovered that the step-father’s children were using the assets of the estate to fund their litigation costs. J.P. and Henry successfully obtained an Order form the Superior Court of Justice that prevented the step-father’s children from using the estate’s assets to fund their litigation legal costs. The Order also required the step-father’s children to repay all of the money they had taken from the estate to pay for their litigation legal costs. In addition, the Court ordered the step-father’s children to pay $33,000 in costs to Tracy and Virginia.