A Madison County woman seeks the right to access her mother's trust fund to obtain money that she would use to repair the heating and air conditioning in an old home.

Marian L. Beyer filed a lawsuit Dec. 12 in Madison County Circuit Court against the Bank of Edwardsville, the University of Illinois Foundation, Edward Beard, Donald Beard, Paul Langenwalter and Venita Ashburn.

In her complaint, Beyer claims her mother left her a trust fund worth $500,000 after her death. On Jan. 24, 2006, the Bank of Edwardsville, which held Beyer's mother's trust fund, released $4,600 to her, according to the complaint. The remaining money stayed in the fund, the suit states.

In the spring, Beyer sought additional money from the fund when water backed into the basement of her home located at 232 West Main Street in St. Jacob.

Because of the water in the basement, the oil burning boiler used to heat the house was destroyed. In turn, Beyer requested money from her mother's Bank of Edwardsville trust fund to pay for a new heating, air conditioning and ventilation system, the complaint says.

However, the Bank of Edwardsville allegedly denied her request. The bank claims that by paying Beyer it would be breaching its duty to the University of Illinois Foundation, the suit claims.

Beyer's mother had also named the university as a beneficiary in her will. Beyer, though, contends that the university would only receive the money if Beyer and her defendant relatives first died.

In addition, she claims one of the primary purposes of the trust is to repair and maintain Beyer's property, which she had acquired through her mother's will, according to the complaint.

Beyer claims that as her mother's only child she is entitled to the money she requests from the fund.

"They (Beyer and her mother) enjoyed a close, emotional relationship, which included an attachment to the curios, momentos, collectibles and other contents of the houses located on the property given to Marian L. Beyer," the suit states.

Because of the bank's refusal to release the funds, Beyer claims she suffered emotional distress and bodily harm.

She seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus actual damages of more than $50,000, unspecified punitive damages, costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just. She is also asking that Bank of Edwardsville be removed as trustee of her mother's fund and that the Guaranty Trust Company of Illinois be appointed as trustee.

Thomas W. Burkart of Burkart Law Offices in Hamel will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-1341.

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