Any Georgia parent who has six children likely understands that sibling rivalries are not uncommon in life. However, most parents hope their kids will be friends as well as siblings. As parents age, disagreements can arise between brothers and sisters that cause serious, sometimes even permanent rifts. Such is the case for six siblings in another state who disagreed about a situation involving their father’s lakefront property and a bank that was made conservator and guardian of a trust.
The man had built a successful career and had purchased two cottages by a lake that he enjoyed with his family for years. He especially loved boating and was saddened when several heart attacks prompted the need for a wheelchair, which made him unable to board and disembark his boat. One of his sons invented a product that could electrically hoist his father’s wheelchair onto the boat.
Just when the son was getting ready to take the prototype into production, his father died and a terrible dispute erupted between the six siblings. Some wanted to sell the cottages and lake property. The inventor son and several siblings adamantly stated that their dad had set up a trust to manage the property and that he wanted the cottages kept in the family.
The siblings who wanted to sell filed a lawsuit. The judge ruled that the language of the trust was not clear enough to prohibit a sale. A bank was named conservator and guardian, and the siblings were ordered to hand in the keys they held to the cottages. One of the cottages and half the land were ultimately sold with the court’s approval. The situation caused several of the siblings to stop speaking to each other; to avoid similar problems, anyone in Georgia facing such issues may wish to consult with an experienced attorney before heading to court over property or a trust.