Arguments under advisement in woman's suit seeking access to trust fund

By Christina Stueve | Mar 23, 2012



Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge took arguments under advisement Friday in a St. Jacob woman's lawsuit against the Bank of Edwardsville.

Marian Beyer filed a lawsuit Dec. 12, naming the Bank of Edwardsville, University of Illinois Foundation, Edward Beard, Donald Beard, Paul Langenwalter and Venita Ashburn as defendants.

She hopes to access her mother's trust fund in order to afford some home repairs.

A hearing was held Friday in Mudge's courtroom based on the plaintiff's motion for default judgment.

The hearing was also based on the Bank of Edwardsville's motion to dismiss.

Plaintiff's Attorney Paul Burkart appeared with his client, Marian Beyer.

"They caused damage to my client," Burkart told the judge in court. "I believe this case can be tried by the end of this year."

The bank filed a motion to dismiss Jan. 13, claiming Beyer's complaint should be dismissed, because it is barred by the doctrine of res judicata, meaning the issue was settled by prior judicial decision.

Mudge told the court he wanted to review the case and take the matter under advisement.

Beyer claims her mother left her a trust fund worth $500,000 after her death. On Jan. 24, 2006, the Bank of Edwardsville released $4,600 to her.

The remaining money stayed in the fund, the suit states.

In the spring, Beyer sought money from the fund when water backed into the basement of her home 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.

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

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

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

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

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

She seeks more than $50,000. She is also asking the Bank of Edwardsville be removed as trustee of her mother's fund and that the Guaranty Trust Company of Illinois be appointed as trustee.

Mathis, Marifian & Richter entered their appearance on behalf of the Defendant, the Bank of Edwardsville as Marian Beyer's trustee.

Conn Q. Davis is the attorney for Defendant Edward Beard and Donald Beard.

Susan Tatoian of Mathis, Marifian & Richter represents The Bank of Edwardsville.

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

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