Mass.gov
   
Mass.Gov home Mass.gov  home get things done agencies Search Mass.Gov


Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Public Reprimand No. 2008-13



ALAN R. FINER

Order (public reprimand) entered by the Board August 6, 2008.

SUMMARY1


The respondent was the trustee of a revocable trust. He received a public reprimand for failure to provide a full written accounting both upon request by the beneficiaries and upon final distribution of the trust property in 2003; failure to maintain complete records of the receipt, maintenance, and disposition of trust property; and failure to preserve those records for six years after the final distribution of the property.

In June 1991, the grantor created a revocable trust for the benefit of her adult daughter. The grantor and the respondent were named co-trustees of the trust. The trust provided that upon the death of the daughter, the trustees were to distribute the trustís property equally to the grantorís two grandchildren as residuary beneficiaries.

In September 1994, the grantor died. Thereafter, the respondent was the sole trustee of the trust. In February 2001, the daughter died and the trust terminated.

Between February 2001, and November 2003, the respondent collected the assets and distributed the remainder of the trust funds to the residuary beneficiaries. The respondent made his final distributions to the residuary beneficiaries in November 2003. Several times between February 2001 and November 2003, the residuary beneficiaries requested an inventory of the trust assets, including stocks and cash, and a full accounting of the disposition of the trust funds and all supporting documentation. The respondent failed to provide an accounting of the trust funds and the supporting documentation as requested.

In November 2005, the attorney for one of the residuary beneficiaries requested the respondent produce a full inventory and accounting of the trust assets and disbursements. In February 2006, the attorney further requested that the respondent produce the original file in the matter.

In March 2006, the respondent provided the attorney with some handwritten ledgers from the trust, some transaction receipts and bank statements. However, the respondent failed to produce an accounting and the documentation provided by the respondent was inadequate to ascertain the disposition of the trust funds. The respondent then moved to Florida and inadvertently shredded most of the trust file when he relocated.

The respondentís failure to provide a full written accounting both upon request by the residuary beneficiaries and upon final distribution of the trust property violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(b) for conduct prior to July 1, 2004, and Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(d)(1) for conduct after July 1, 2004. The respondentís conduct in failing to maintain complete records of the receipt, maintenance, and disposition of the trust property and to preserve those records for six years after the final distribution of the property violated Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(a) for conduct prior to July 1, 2004, and Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.15(f) for conduct after July 1, 2004.

This matter came before the Board of Bar Overseers on an agreed recommendation for discipline by public reprimand based upon a stipulation of the parties. On June 9, 2008, the Board voted to administer a public reprimand to the respondent.


1 Compiled by the Board of Bar Overseers based on the record of proceedings before the Board.



BBO/OBC Privacy Policy. Please direct all questions to webmaster@massbbo.org.
© 2003. Board of Bar Overseers. Office of Bar Counsel. All rights reserved.