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Dear Liz: What recourse would my 21-year-old nephew have if his mother embezzled his college fund? The fund was set up by his parents when he was a child.

Answer: If your nephew wants to try to sue his mother, or file a criminal complaint against her, he should talk to an attorney about his options. Money that’s placed in a trust or custodial account for a child’s benefit is no longer the parent’s to take, although too many parents don’t understand this and grab at an easy source of funds when money gets tight.

In the more likely case that he doesn’t want to take formal action against his mother, he could simply ask her to return the money she took. His chances of success may not be great — people who steal from their kids may not be eager to make amends — but he likely stands no chance if he doesn’t ask.

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Categories : College, College Savings, Q&A



Why bother? The money is probably gone and the chances of getting any of it back are slim.


You’re probably right. He might want to check his credit reports, just to make sure Mumsy hasn’t stolen his identity as well.