30Nov 2015
Nov 30, 2015

Probate lawyer suspended for neglect of estate

Illinois: Probate lawyerA probate lawyer from River Forest has been barred for a year and/or until further notice. The suspension of the probate lawyer (Albert S. George) was ordered by the Illinois Supreme Court. As confirmed by the Illinois ARDC pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 762(b). George acted as both executor and attorney and neglected the probate estate he was entrusted with. The probate lawyer resigned as executor and was also hit with a judgment of around $77,000. George was first licensed in 1969. As part of the disciplinary procedure he has to show good character, rehabilitation and knowledge of current law for reinstatement.

Mr George is 73, between 2008 through 2012, it was found he did not show due diligence and collected an unreasonable fee. This resulted in him resigning as executor along with an unpaid judgment. While in mitigation the probate lawyer had expressed regret he had previously been disciplined. The previous suspension was for nine months for conversion of funds from an estate. The details of the prior suspension were M.R. 13478, 95 CH 608 (May 30, 1997)).

The suspension of one year was considered consistent mindful of other previous cases and suspensions. The deceased died testate on February 1st 2008. The will had been drafted by George. The estate (approx. $1.3 million) was to be divided around three charities. A remaining 5% to be paid over to her adult step son. For the first 3 years the probate lawyer put himself forward as executor. While contacting individuals and financial institutions. This irrespective the will had not found it’s way to filing in probate court.

An attorney was hired by a member of the deceased family in April 11, 2011. A petition was filed and named George as executor of the estate. Following the appointment Probate judge George drew up a list of assets and itemized the deceased Forest River home at $285,000. Some 6 months later Mr George was instrumental in the sale of the deceased home to her step-daughter for $165,000. None of the 3 charities were contacted (to obtain consent) and neither were they advised of the bequests in their favor. The following 2 years saw the probate lawyer withdraw around $80,000 from the estate on account of his attorney fees.

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