Madison - St. Clair Record

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Trustee for living trust alleges breach of contract, fiduciary duty

By Kasey Schefflin-Emrich | Jun 18, 2015

Attorney Edward Unsell is suing a financial services firm as trustee for a woman's living trust, alleging the firm refused to return previously deposited funds.

Unsell, as trustee for the Alberta Dean Living Trust, filed a lawsuit on June 9 in Madison County Circuit Court against Regan & Associates, agents of Williams Financial Group, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.

According to the suit, on March 21, Dean met with Steve Regan of Regan & Associates with the purpose of opening a brokerage account. On that day, Dean wrote a check to Regan & Associates for $1 million. Roughly a month later the trustee received an engagement letter regarding the opening of the account, the suit says.

Around May 15, the trustee allegedly sent a written request to the defendant to return all funds that were previously deposited with them. Despite the letter the trustee received, stating Regan & Associates had the responsibility of accepting orders and instructions from Dean regarding the account, the trustee alleges the defendants refused to comply with the demand.

The suit alleges the defendant had a fiduciary duty to the plaintiff and was also responsible for following the guidelines set forth in the contract, which stated they had to accept and follow the instructions of the plaintiff.

Unsell seeks damages in excess of $50,000, punitive damages of at least $50,000,  plus the costs of suit, attorney fees and interest.

He is represented by attorneys Fred Patrick Schuman and Janel L. Freeman of East Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-740.

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