VIRGINA BEACH, Va. - A secret storage unit and forged estate plan documents: these are just some of the new allegations made against a Virginia Beach woman, Debbie Siers-Hill.
According to the new lawsuit, and previously reported by News 3, Siers-Hill is a “person of interest” in the death of her late boyfriend, Fred Brooks.
Virginia Beach Police and the FBI began investigating Siers-Hill after she was accused by family members in a civil lawsuit of poisoning Brooks to death, and forging his signature, to gain control of his estate.
But this time family members are not the ones accusing her of manipulating Brooks’ estate plan. This time it’s a neutral third party, the curator of the estate, James Evans.
We had an estate planning expert out of Virginia Beach, Scott Alperin, weigh in on the case.
“If there’s a curator involved, that’s someone who’s typically been appointed by the court to assemble all of the assets of the state, and to make sure their safeguarded while the court considers the action at hand,” Alperin explained.
“That way you’ve got a neutral third party who is preventing the assets of the estate from being squandered or misappropriated.”
In the new lawsuit, uncovered in a News 3 investigation, the curator sides with family members. Evans agrees that a distribution of personal property document, which left 72 percent of Brooks’ personal property to Siers-Hill isn’t valid.
According to Evans, the signature was forged.
“Clearly the allegation that some of the documents that were signed were not genuine, that allegation is obviously suspicious,” Alperin told News 3.
Additionally, the lawsuit claims Siers-Hill may be stealing Brooks’ personal items and hiding them in a secret “self-storage unit”, the location “unknown” to Brooks’ family members or the curator.
“In my experience, it’s often tangible personal property that causes more fights among family members than money sometimes, because of sentimental reasons, or because of the value of those assets,” said Alperin.
Now, the curator is asking the court to force Siers-Hill to stop removing items from Brooks’ home or storage unit, and to allow him, and “agents, to enter the storage unit for inventory purposes.”
After Brooks’ death, Virginia Beach Police and the FBI raided Brooks’ home in search of a white powder, and “seized various records and other items” from Brooks’ “home and automobiles.” It is unclear if they also search Siers-Hill’s secret storage unit.
Virginia Beach police wouldn’t comment on the case, citing that Siers-Hill is still under investigation. According to the lawsuit, Brooks’ cause of death has still not been determined.