Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Friday, September 20, 2013

Attorney Pays Himself $500,000


La Jolla attorney James McGowan, 76, is now facing discipline from the State Bar of California for allegedly taking over $500,000 from the estates of Henry Thackwell and wife Hildegard.

McGowan claims he paid himself from their trust as compensation for legal services rendered but has not provided an accounting.  The payments occurred over a nine-year span but McGowan never sought court approval.

In 2010, the American Cancer Society, as a beneficiary of Hildegard’s estate, challenged McGowan’s claims and ultimately settled with him for $200,000.

See Aaron Burgin, Bar: Lawyer Took $500K from Dead Clients, U-T San Diego, Sept. 17, 2013.


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