Elderly Florida residents are no doubt aware of the challenges that estate planning can present when deciding who gets what. Tempers have been known to flare amongst jealous relatives, but it’s important that everyone act calmly. A man has been accused of assaulting his elderly uncle after a contentious custody and probate hearing. The incident occurred when the two men were leaving a hearing was related to the custody of the suspect’s 92-year-old father.

The two had been fighting over guardianship for about two years, according to reports. The suspect and his brother had filed an injunction to get rid of the current estate manager, a woman who was appointed by the courts as the father’s guardian. The injunction contends that the woman is spending hundreds of thousands on unnecessary legal fees. The elderly man lives on about $40,000 per year and the woman spent $200,000, the sons argue. They also say that the woman is not sufficiently bonded to handle the expensive real estate transactions currently associated with the estate.

Furthermore, the woman does not visit the elderly man or provide the funds for his daily care, according to the filing. The sons have also accused the woman of misrepresenting the purpose of a recent real estate sale. She had acted as though the sale was intended to clear the elderly man’s debts, rather than to pay the associated legal fees.

The younger man is accused of punching and kicking his older uncle, according to the victim’s statement. The older man was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for abrasions, lacerations and difficulty breathing. The suspect has been charged with second-degree assault and posted $5,000 bail.

If the alleged assault stemmed from the probate battle, then it will only serve to complicate matters.

Luis E. Barreto