A Florida man who inherited approximately $7 million from his mother in 2001 is still homeless despite his wealth. His attorney and the trustee to his mother's will are now engaged in a legal battle regarding the administration of the estate.

The mentally ill man was an adopted member of the family that owned the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, and inherited his mother's estate when she died in 2001, though he did not discover this until several years later.

The man is now living on the street and is the target of an active arrest warrant. His attorney blames the man's cousin, who was named as trustee of the estate, for not performing his trustee duties, suggesting that he may be attempting to keep the inheritance for himself. The will states that any money unclaimed by the man upon his death is to be passed to the trustee. The attorney claims that the trustee has not helped the man improve his lifestyle and has filed a lawsuit with the goal of appointing a new trustee.

The trustee defended his actions, explaining that he convinced the man to open a bank account and provided him with a weekly stipend that was larger than suggested in the will. He argued that this was the most he could do to keep the man off the streets, as he is a not the man's legal guardian. He claimed that the man has been known to disappear for long stretches of time, making him impossible to contact.

The person who is named the trustee of an estate is responsible for carrying out the terms of the will to the best of his or her ability. In some cases, however, beneficiaries to the will may feel that the trustee is prohibiting them from receiving their rightful inheritance. In these situations, seeking experienced legal advice may be helpful.

Source: SunSentinel.com, "Lawyer seeks to oust trustee for homeless heir to millions," Juan Ortega, 10 July 2011