Brother is trustee signed blank checks for me to use to pay parents bills can I get in trouble for not running all payments past him?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Brother is trustee signed blank checks for me to use to pay parents bills can I get in trouble for not running all payments past him?

Mom died 2016 stepdad died 2017
they created trust 2011 and used trust
checking acct as personal checking
acct. when they both died my brother
became trustee pet trust instructions.
Brother signed all blank checks for me
to continue paying bills from trust
account as I had been stepdads legal
guardian due to dementia and had
been in charge of funds the previous 2
years. I paid bills, plus used some of
the money from the checking account
to pay my car insurance, cell phone bill,
and groceries. My brother is now
saying I stole the money because I did
not clear everything with him. He says I
committed fraud is this true?

Asked on May 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, Illinois


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are liable for conversion which is theft in a civil case because the trustee is in charge of the Trust funds and did not authorize the payments you made with Trust funds.
Since the amounts are relatively small, repayment should resolve the matter.  The trustee could sue you for conversion and obtain the remedy of a constructive trust which would require you to return the proceeds to the Trust.

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