CHARLESTON – A man's estate hasn't been taken care of like it should have been, according to lawsuit filed by its co-executors.
Charles A. Taylor and Connie Taylor filed the lawsuit Jan. 18 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
In their capacities as co-executors of the estate of Robert E. Boyd, the plaintiffs claim Kenneth Boyd and Mary Boyd, both of Belle, took advantage of a time when Robert E. Boyd was confused before his death to give themselves his power of attorney and make themselves beneficiaries on bank accounts and certificates of deposit that he intended to be used to take care of his sister Effie Juanita Taylor after his death.
Effie Taylor is the mother of Charles Taylor, who also acts as her legal guardian now because she suffers from Alzheimer's Disease. Charles Taylor also is the nephew of Robert E. Boyd.
In the suit, filed by attorney Shari L. Collias, the Taylors say they were named co-executors of Boyd's will on Nov. 7, 2005, shortly after his Oct. 24 death.
The suit claims that Boyd executed his Last Will and Testament on Dec. 23, 1998, and that it says Effie Taylor "is granted a lifetime right to reside in the decedent's house" in Chesapeake.
The will also says Robert Boyd and Effie Taylor hold bank accounts and CDs as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Also, it says Effie Taylor is to receive whatever funds remain in those accounts and CDs at the time of Robert Boyd's death.
The siblings lived in the same home for 20 years before his death, the suit says, and he cared for her for a number of years before his death.
When the will was created, the siblings had joint checking and savings accounts at Huntington Bank and two CDs from the bank for $20,526.40 and for $11,079.82.
The suit says that less than a year after his sister was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Robert Boyd removed Effie Taylor as a joint accountholder on the bank accounts and executed a document removing her as joint owner of the CDs on March 3, 2003.
On the same day, the suit claims, he also executed a document directing that the proceeds from the CDs be paid upon his death to her.
"The above noted documents were executed by Robert Boyd as a result of his sister's declining mental state and his desire to see that she received good care after his death," the suit states.
In early 2003, Boyd began experiencing periods of confusion and dizziness, according to the suit. On June 7, 2004, he was admitted to Charleston Area Medical Center because of this problem. The medical records show that he was confused at the time, the suit says.
Three days later when he was discharged, the suit alleges the defendants "exercised undue influence over the decedent at a time when he was not mentally competent and arranged for him to sign a General Durable Power of Attorney" appointing them as his lawful attorneys in fact.
On June 11, 2004, Boyd was admitted to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Huntington. Those records again show he was disoriented and confused.
The plaintiffs claim that sometime between June 10, 2004, and his death on Oct. 6, 2005, the defendants "utilized the General Durable Power of Attorney … to access Mr. Boyd's bank accounts and certificates of deposit and converted them to their own use and benefit."
That, the suit claims, constitutes malfeasance and fiduciary fraud.
On Oct. 13, 2004, the suit claims the defendants added themselves as joint accountholders on Boyd's bank accounts and as joint owners on his CDs. The suit says they also wrongfully removed Effie Taylor's name as the beneficiary to those accounts and CDs.
Shortly after Boyd's death, the defendants cashed in the two CDs and took physical possession of his bank accounts.
That, the suit says, constitutes fraud on the estate of Robert Boyd and upon beneficiary Effie Taylor.
The plaintiffs say Effie Taylor has less than $402 per month income from Social Security to care for her personal needs and that the actions taken by the defendants were in direct contravention to Boyd's wishes and the terms of his Last Will and Testament.
So, the plaintiffs seek a judgment for all sums owed by the decedent that are proven to have wrongfully been used by the defendants for their own benefit and to the detriment of Effie Juanita Taylor;
They also ask that Kenneth and Mary Boyd receive no portion of Robert Boyd's estate under the terms of his will.
They also request compensation for attorney fees, court costs and other relief.
They seek a jury trial.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 06-C-79