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Challenging an executor who steals from the estate

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Challenging an executor who steals from the estate

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2022 | probate |

The person your loved one named as executor was probably someone they trusted. Maybe it was their business partner or their best friend. Perhaps it’s a member of your family.

The sad truth is that there is no relationship that guarantees one person won’t try to benefit off of the hardships of others. Executors managing large estates may find the temptation of the assets under their control too much to handle. They could steal from the estate.

Family members worried about losing assets to inheritance theft may need to challenge an executor in probate court.

What is inheritance theft?

Some forms of inheritance theft are very straightforward. The executor or representative of the estate will misappropriate or take assets intended for someone else. You may have noticed that your mother’s jewelry collection has mysteriously gone missing since her death, or that all of the most valuable furniture is no longer in her home. The balance of her bank account could be much lower than it was before, or her hidden stash of cash could be gone.

An executor could steal and sell physical assets or take money from the estate. Estate theft can also look like an executor hiring themselves or someone else they know to work for the estate. Property managers, contractors and even financial advisors could overcharge the estate for personal gain based on their relationship with the executor.

When you suspect that the executor has begun to take assets from the estate or otherwise diminish its value, you may have grounds to challenge their role and their actions. Initiating probate litigation when an executor steals from the estate can help protect the legacy of the deceased individual.