Prolonged Probate Case Obliterates $162 Million

F. Francis D'Addario has been called one of the most colorful and successful industrialists in Connecticut. Sadly, the wealthy businessman was cheated of his life at the age of 63, when his small plane fell from the sky. When he died in March of 1986, the prosperous businessman left his massive estate to be distributed among his wife and five children. The entire estate was estimated at about $162 million, a sum which could provide comfort for the family bereft of their father. However, when the matter went to a probate court, things went awry.

The D'Addario probate case has been dragging on for almost 20 years, and it still hasn't been resolved. Somewhere in the probate procedure, millions have disappeared, and no one seems to know where they are. The reason that the D'Addario case proved to be so complicated is in part because Mr. D'Addario had a far spread collection of assets. The D'Addario Industries involved construction companies, real estate, television and gambling properties, and a professional women's softball team. Other businesses and investments were also included in the estate.

Usually, almost all estates are settled in less than one year. One-third of all probate cases are settled within four months. Smaller estates can often use an expedited procedure, and this can take less than 30 days to complete. Larger estates take a little bit longer, an average of a year. Yet it is almost unheard of that a case will take over 2 years to complete. The D'Addario case, because of its size, sprawling properties, and complications, has been resting in the court room for over 25 years. The case has changed judges multiple times. In 2010, it was picked up by Probate Judge Joseph Egan, who believes that the case would have been settled a long time ago if it wasn't for the fact that there has been oversight in the court room.

Because probate disputes from the D'Addario estate, there is an ongoing feud between the Cadle Company and David D'Addario, the oldest son in the family. According to one news source, the Cadle Company is a creditor that has filed federal complaints against the family and their estate. In the past, the Cadle Company sought $3.1 million from the estate in an accumulated lump of small lawsuits. The Cadle Company says that the D'Addarios' millions have evaporated because of years of "plundering, pillaging, and looting." They purchased some of the debt that was owed to a bank and have been asking for payment from the D'Addarios ever since.

It may seem inconceivable; how could $162 million disappear into thin air, leaving creditors calling and lawsuits attacking a once-wealthy family? Unfortunately, this seemingly impossible scenario is actually quite common. The Cadle Company lawsuit says that there has been no judicial oversight in the case for the 25 years that it has been open. Without professional insight and help, the money somehow slipped through the family's fingers like grains of sand.

The family is still waiting for their case to be settled, and has refused to pay back the Cadle Company without their $162 million. Yet the millions seem to be gone, drained out from under the family as they waited in the court. Chances are that the D'Addarios will never repossess their fortune. People are appalled that a probate court, which is designed to help people distribute their estate according to the legal procedures, could fail in their duty to such a great degree. Yet this is why it is so important to have a reliable probate attorney helping you with your case every step of the way. By hiring someone you can trust, a professional attorney can help to keep your case moving and keep track of your funds in the process.