A mother has been sentenced to three years and four months in prison after misappropriating funds designated for someone in her son's Will. Richard Walker, a soldier, tragically lost his life in Afghanistan in 2013. His Will clearly outlined the beneficiaries of his estate and appointed his mother, Kathryn Walker, as the Executor.
However, Ms Walker failed to fulfil her responsibilities as Executor and instead diverted the funds towards settling her own debts. She spent the money on various expenses, including vehicles, horses, stables, and private license plates, among other things.
When the probate registry intervened, and despite repeated requests for compliance, Ms Walker continued to act. An incident occurred where Ms Walker was found to have used funds that were not intended for her. This led to police involvement and an investigation, which revealed that she had spent the entire amount in just four months. Ms Walker admitted to being aware that the funds were not meant for her use.
As a result, Ms Walker was charged with fraud by abuse of trust and sentenced to imprisonment.
This case highlights the importance of selecting a responsible Executor. In hindsight, it appears that appointing someone who is not skilled in managing finances as an Executor could be a crucial factor, as was the case with Mr Walker reportedly expressed concerns about his mother's financial acumen.
0207 183 4595
The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute professional advice and you should take full and comprehensive legal, accountancy or financial advice as appropriate on your individual circumstances by a fully qualified Solicitor, Accountant or Financial Advisor/Mortgage Broker before you embark on any course of action.