Granddaughter seeks inheritance from stepmother

Kelly Holleran Mar. 21, 2012, 9:40am

The granddaughter of a deceased woman has filed suit against her father's wife and his estate, alleging her father and his wife conspired to take inheritance money due to the granddaughter.

Rebecca S. Drury claims she and her father, William E. Schwarz, were the sole trustees of a trust established by Drury's grandmother, Susan C. Schwarz. According to the terms of the trust, William Schwarz was to receive the income from the trust. When he died, the money would be passed on to Drury, according to the complaint filed March 7 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

However, a few months before he died, William Schwarz transferred the trust assets to his wife, defendant Jane L. Schwarz, the suit states.

"William E. Schwarz's wife, Jane L. Schwarz, had knowledge and encouraged the before mentioned fraudulent transactions," the complaint says. "All of these transactions were concealed from plaintiff and were carried out to her detriment."

William Schwarz was able to carry out the transactions by forging his daughter's signature, she claims.

Drury alleges fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against her father's estate. She also alleges civil conspiracy against Jane L. Schwarz, according to the complaint.

In her three-count complaint, Drury is seeking a judgment of more than $150,000, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Chet A. Kelly of Williams, Caponi and Foley in Belleville will be representing her.

St. Clair County District Court case number: 12-L-124.

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