My broker brother-in-law and sister managed my father's stock. I know he made illegal trades and used my fathers account to buy sell trade to cover his purchases. He was fired from three companies for his practices.

An estimated million dollars disappeared before my father's passing. I got no inheritance. I cannot get a copy of his will, if one was made. My sister and her husband took all stock, Disney, Microsoft, John Hancock etc. She took all cash including bank accounts, bonds, T-Bills and life insurance payments including his military benefits which I raised to 70K many years ago.

They sold my father's million dollar home to my youngest brother for 125 thousand, and effectively put me in a homeless shelter. As a disabled navy veteran myself, I receive a hudvash voucher (military section 8 type help) to help pay rent and I get SSI. Other items include that she refused to pay taxes for my father's 52 acre farm upstate NY and lost it to the state, bought for 98 thousand.

A family member said my father gave power of attorney, but signed under medication hours before surgery, which may not be a legal document. I cannot afford a lawyer unless I recover some of the money. My sister and husband live in a 4 million dollar house in Brewster NY, and military pays my apartment in the Bronx.

Do I need advice or legal aid or a pro-bono lawyer?

  • 29
    I’m voting to close this question because this is a legal question. See a lawyer.
    – Pete B.
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 10:38
  • 13
    This sounds like a terribly tragic financial story, none of which can be solved by strangers on the internet. Seek out a qualified lawyer that specializes in estate proceedings and tell them your story. It sounds like the executor did everything in their power to mismanage, receive, or piss away the inheritance. If you are not on the will then this may sadly be none of your business. If there was no will then things should have been divided per the state's estate proceedings.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 15:40
  • 1
    @PeteB. I think it's on-topic because it's about the personal finance question of how to pay for a lawyer when you can't afford one.
    – nanoman
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 16:45
  • Here's a fairly good link for understanding how the proceedings should have went: investopedia.com/ask/answers/101915/…. If there was a will and you were in it then you should have been notified and it should be available as a public record for you to request from the courthouse. All the pre-death money mis-management is likely an entirely separate legal beast since it happened while your father was alive. Figure out what city your father's death was registered in and try to track down a will.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 19:19
  • 1
    If your brother-in-law claims there wasn't a will then you have a really strong case for suing the executor or law firm that oversaw the estate. Once again though, you will need a lawyer on your side since it's clear that your relatives decided to possibly screw you over.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


I cannot afford a lawyer unless I recover some of the money.

That is why many lawyers work on contingency. If you bring them the makings of a strong case, they might represent you in exchange for a share of the payment, only if you win. So doing an initial consultation with a lawyer and showing whatever documentation you have, what you remember, what you are willing to swear to, etc., may give you an idea of whether anything can be done.

  • 31
    Worth noting is that most serious attorneys (as far as I know!) don't charge for the initial consultation and are happy to hear you out and either take the case or suggest alternatives.
    – pipe
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 11:57
  • 1
    I'd only add that trying random ideas from the internet before contacting qualified attorney may even hurt OP's case. Don't try on your own, in situation this complicated hire a pro.
    – Mołot
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 20:53

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