Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Zealand Member of Parliament Being Investigated in his Dead Mother's Missing Funds

Estate DisputeBrendan Horan, a member of the New Zealand Parliament, is indirectly being investigated for misappropriating funds from his mother's bank accounts. According to TVNZ, "forensic accountants are investigating the estate of New Zealand First MP Brendan Horan's mother." At this time, however, the police have not filed a formal complaint against Horan. If the police does grant a formal complaint against Horan, it will not be made until the investigation is complete.

Horan's mother, a million dollar lottery winner, changed her will shortly before she died of cancer. She included a provision that gave the executor the authority to recover money that she loaned or was taken from her. If this does not happen, "then Horan's share of the estate 'will be adjusted to take in account of any such funds received...over the last 10 years.'" When asked about this change in his mother's will, Horan responded that his mother was ill when she changed it. The problem with this is that his mother did receive a medical certificate stating that she was in her right mind when she changed her will.

The executor complied with the forensic accountants and turned over the bank account statements, noting that there is a great deal of money still missing. Horan's mother first won the lottery prize in 1999 worth $1 million in prizes. By 2007, she only had $259,000. At the time of her death she had only $3,000 in her accounts. Horan claims that there is no wrongdoing here. He claimed that he has no financial issues, and that he was unaware that his mother's money was missing. He welcomed the beginning of the investigation in the hopes that it will clear this matter and contends that none his mother's money has been misappropriated. 

See MP's Family Investigates Dead Mother's Missing Funds, TVNZ, Nov. 25, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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