What are my legal options if my father cashed in my custodial account for his own use?

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What are my legal options if my father cashed in my custodial account for his own use?

I am 19 years old. My father recently cashed in a custodial account ($5,953.66), which was set up for me by my grandmother as custodian. He then deposited the proceeds to a joint account he shares with her. My grandmother has senile dementia and is not at all competent to have acted on her own. I am certain it was never her intention to deprive me of the funds. My father has been spending the money on himself. Since I turned 18 (14 months ago), my father has been urged by my mother to convert the account to my name, or cash it in and send me the money.

Asked on August 18, 2011 New York

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue your father for conversion.  Conversion is an intentional assumption of dominion and control over the personal property of another (your  account) resulting in a substantial interference with your possessory rights without consent and without legal privilege.

Conversion occurred when your father intentionally took the funds from the custodial account.  The wrongful acquisition of the funds by your father is conversion.

Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit for conversion) would be the amount that was in the account.  If that account was earning interest, you could also seek to recover interest that was lost due to your father's conversion.

Another remedy to consider in your lawsuit would be a constructive trust against your father.  A constructive trust means that your father is to return the funds to you.


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