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I am one of 5 beneficiaries to my dad's estate. My brother is driving his now uninsured car. What can we do to stop this?

Badger, IA |

This brother does not have a driver's license. His was suspended after his most recent DUI. This was his 3rd DUI; also has public intox charges. Bottom line is that I wouldn't let him borrow a bicycle and certainly am not willing to assume liability for his driving an uninsured car without a license.
He is one of the trustees and says he has a right to drive it as a trustee. It was supposed to be sold a couple of months ago but he continues to use it as his own. (Our father died 3 months ago.)
Do the beneficiaries have liability and what can we do to prevent his use of the car and failure to sell it as agreed upon? We've raised it with the attorney for the trust but he appears to be acting in the interest of the trustees and does not respond.

This may be better categorized under 'trust' or 'estate' but I cannot find a way to change the category options.

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Attorney answers 4


I gather that the bulk of your father's assets were in either an inter vivos trust or a springing trust. Is the vehicle an asset of the trust or a probate asset? Is there a probate in process? Write, don't call, to the personal representative or trustees and the attorneys and lay out the facts underlying your summary above. Tell them they have a duty to protect trust and/or estate assets. Further, inform them that you will seek to hold them personally responsible for any loss suffered by the estate and/or trust from their grossly irresponsible act of letting this person use this vehicle. If it continues, hire an attorney and seek a court order directing them to take control of the vehicle and not allow this unlicensed driver to use it. You may also seek replacement of the trustee, but they may be overkill.

This response does not create a lawyer client relationship. Each case is determined on its specific facts and this reply is intended for a general audience and facts particular to your case may affect the answer. Consult with an attorney in person for specific answers to your questions.



This vehicle was not included in the trust as established by my father. I think it was inadvertently excluded (he had Alzheimer's). There is not probate in process as most property was in the trust. (That's the way it was explained to me.) At the time of death, my father owned several properties and farmland, which was included in the revocable trust. I am in the process of trying to find a lawyer--I'm trying to do what I can to protect my interests in the meantime. Ultimately, my goal is to replace the trustees as they have done many unethical (& I think illegal) things already. Several items have been removed from my father's property and remain unaccounted for. From the onset, their actions have been suspect.


Retain local counsel immediately. I think you will need the help of an experienced trusts and estates lawyer to help you. Good luck.


Pick up the phone and call the police and provide them with information. If there is a probate court involved, have your attorney file a motion with the probate court to possibly remove the trustee or obtain an order to secure the car.

Legal Disclaimer:

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.


Retain a local trusts & estates attorney to resolve.