What to do if my brother and I inherited 1/2 of my late father’s business which has now been dissolved but his business partner won’t divide and pay us the balance due?

My father’s name was never on the business checking of savings so we can not access these accounts on our own. We have requested the funds to be issued to us several times with no response. At this time it feels like he is embezzling funds.

Asked on July 31, 2014 under Business Law, Wisconsin


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You and your brother can sue the business partner to recover the balance due to your father's estate.  Your lawsuit should seek a constructive trust which would require the business partner to return the funds to your father's estate and pay the balance due.  A constructive trust will enable you to trace the funds that may have been embezzled by the partner and used for other acquisitions.

Prior to filing your lawsuit, you should demand an accounting from the business partner.

In addition to the civil case (lawsuit), if there is evidence of embezzlement, you should contact the district attorney's office.  The criminal case for embezzlement pursued by the district attorney is separate from your civil case (lawsuit) and both cases can proceed simultaneously.


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