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Deputies arrest dad for spending his daughter's inheritance

An inheritance can include a wide range of items, including money and real property. People typically use a will or trust to ensure that their assets are properly distributed after they die, and there are laws regulating the distribution of an inheritance. Readers in Orlando will be interested to learn about a case in which a father has been accused of improperly spending his daughter's inheritance.

The $58,866.61 inheritance came from the daughter's mother, who died on Oct. 30, 2011, and included the proceeds from the mother's 401(k) account through Costco, her employer.

Deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report that the 41-year-old father spent $1,323 on a plasma TV and $28,088.14 on a sports car. Additional purchases that the father made with the inheritance include plane tickets, jewelry and shoes.

The father reportedly intercepted the inheritance check, which was sent to his brother. Court records show that the father's brother has been appointed as the girl's plenary guardian, meaning that he is the guardian over her legal affairs. The check was supposed to be deposited into a guardianship, but deputies report that the girl's father convinced his brother to cash the check. Bank officials said they will return the funds to the administrators of the 401(k) plan because the teller made an error in accepting the check.

Those who wish to create a last will and testament should make their intentions extremely clear in the proper legal manner. While not every situation is foreseeable, clearly drafted estate planning instruments will help ensure that property is distributed exactly as the estate planner wishes.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Dad squandered daughter's $58,000 inheritance on car, flight for girlfriend, say deputies," Brett Clarkson, Jan. 29, 2013

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