How To Prove Inheritance Theft?

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“It might be a financial windfall if you’re lucky to inherit something. However, there’s one problem – someone might try to steal what you’ve inherited. Some laws protect heirs and beneficiaries against inheritance theft, a real problem for people who inherit money, property, or other assets.”

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How To Prove Inheritance Theft?

The financial advisor can assist you in minimizing conflicts after your death by helping you with estate planning in case of an inheritance or How to Prove Inheritance Theft.


How Can We Defined Inheritance Theft?

Various forms of inheritance theft and hijacking are possible, with some being more obvious than others. Some examples of sibling stealing from estate are as follows:

  • Executors who try to hide assets from the estate inventory or steal
  • A trustee’s act of diverting trust assets for their use.
  • The fees charged by a trustee or executor
  • Abuse of power of attorney
  • Coerce, or influence someone by coercion or unjustified influence to change their mind or trust.
  • The destruction or forgery of trust or will documents

There are also instances when inheritance theft takes a more personal form. It is possible for your sister and you to share caregiving duties for an aging mother. Without your knowledge, your sister withdraws large amounts of cash from your mother’s bank accounts when your mother is still alive.

In the meantime, your mother names you the executor of her will. As you inventory her assets following her death, you discover that her bank accounts have mysteriously run out of money. You may violate your state’s inheritance theft laws if you and your sister should have shared those assets.


Inheritance Hijacking: Types and Effects

Family members can take advantage of vulnerable relatives to get a piece of an estate without direct access to funds. Unscrupulous family members use the following tactics:


Without a loan document

It is possible that family members who borrowed money from a relative claim they received it as a gift. Without a loan document, the heirs have no legal recourse to recoup the money from the borrower.

Protecting an estate from this type of hijacking is impossible by requiring loan documents every time large amounts of money are transferred.


Negative remarks about fellow heirs

Sometimes, heirs focus more on what they can do to increase their share of the estate rather than the bond between them. When an heir lies about other heirs, for example, claiming one sibling has more than he needs while the other is untrustworthy with money.

An elderly parent might change their will for the lying heir if they hear this denigration. Typically, a vilified heir has little chance of protecting themselves against this kind of insidious hijacking, particularly since they only realize what has happened too late.


Document falsification or destruction

A family member or advisor can create fake wills or amendments to real wills, allowing the forger to receive a larger share of the inheritance. For instance, suppose a parent leaves his estate to a child who cannot care for themself because of his disability.

If an older sibling destroys the will, the parent appears to have died intestate, and the money is distributed equally among the siblings.


When is Inheritance Hijacking Most Likely to Occur?

What to do when a sibling steals your inheritance? Many forms of theft can occur when someone tries to hijack an inheritance. Those looking to steal an inheritance will use any means to acquire assets not intended for them. Below are just a few scenarios that may occur.


Emotional manipulation to steal your inheritance

Using emotional manipulation to steal your inheritance is one of the most common. This can occur when a family member is trying to obtain a larger share of your assets than you intended.

Often, family members will offer you more favors to seem like your favorite relative when they suddenly attempt to become much closer to you than they had ever been before.


Contestation by family members

Your inheritance may also face contestation by family members who badmouth other relatives who may receive some of your inheritance. To make your inheritance larger, we give you a skewed and biased view of specific individuals to motivate you to write them out of your Will or Trust.


The marriage contracts

Marriage can often be a viable tactic for hijacking among strangers seeking to get your inheritance. When you learn that you do not have much time left to live, especially when you know that you will leave behind a large estate after you die, this can appear as someone taking a sincere interest in you.

Marriage certificates can be lucrative to inheritance hijackers since spouses usually inherit a portion of your estate if you die before them.


How to Handle Inheritance Theft is Crucial.

How do you prove inheritance theft? Knowing how to handle inheritance theft is crucial if you face this situation.


How to handle inheritance theft is crucial.


Does someone have a chance of stealing your inheritance?

A variety of methods can steal inherited items. Some may take them physically, especially if they are jewelry or other objects. Others may claim the item by using it or taking it over. Even if the title belonged to you, you could change it to someone else’s name.

When someone steals an inheritance, the individual may not even realize it. Pretending it is for them or that they had discussed receiving the item with the deceased when they were alive. Dealing with a stolen inheritance differently is possible depending on its circumstances.


Documentation is important

There may be some disagreement about who owns a particular piece of property if you know who has the inheritance. If you know who has the inheritance, you must keep good records. They will also specify who will receive certain items.

If you communicate with the person who stole your inheritance, you must keep records of everything. You can use email to communicate as much as possible to keep a written record of conversations. The law may allow you to record phone conversations, but you must check to see if you can.

Keeping track of dates and times and suspicious behavior around the time of the theft. And any suspicious behavior around the theft can help with recovery.


Reclaim Your Inheritance

While it seems obvious, many people do not consider asking for their property back after being stolen because they assume it was intentional. Upon showing proof that the item is yours, the individual may be willing to return it.

You can get them to return it by proving you are the owner, whether they took it intentionally or not. If you can prove this, they may feel free from the need to go through the legal process of Inheritance Theft laws California.


Obtain legal advice from a probate attorney.

When you know your inheritance has gone missing, consult a probate lawyer. The lawyer needs information about the situation of theft from estate before inventory to guide and assist you.


How much went missing?

When determining how to get the money back, the attorney inheritance near me must know the type of money stolen. Inheritance money is often the easiest to track and recover.

There may have been thefts of sentimental items from one generation to the next. This could have been a vehicle, a house, or even a piece of land. For your lawyer to file a lawsuit, you must provide a copy of the will listing the inheritance.


The Thief Was Who?

When the probate attorney asks this question, along with the name of the thief. You should be ready to provide proof that someone stole the inheritance. Someone stole the inheritance.

It is best to provide names with why you believe they would take the inheritance if you are unsure who is guilty or have no evidence. As a result, a jealous sibling may accuse their family member of leaving them out of the will. Or a family member may mention that they wanted the stolen item while the deceased was still alive.

It is important to examine stolen inheritances from a family member’s perspective and any business associate who may have had access to the assets. A financial advisor or executor could be in charge of the estate.


When did the theft take place?

A physical item, for example, may only allow you to give the date when you noticed it was missing. However, the item may have been stolen months or even years ago.

Money in an account might be easier to track. However, the theft is often in progress for some time before it occurs. It is possible that the thief formed a friendship with the deceased while they were alive, and they planned to steal from the estate after the decedent’s death. They could have harmed the decedent or convinced them to change their will.


Stolen in what way?

Connections exist between this question and the timeline for the theft. For instance, the thief might manipulate the decedent’s will or convince them to change it anyway to obtain the inheritance. This would indicate that the theft occurred before the deceased’s death.

Another case could have involved the theft of a physical item before securing the property or inventory. When asked about estate assets, the thief may not provide information if they were the executor. They may delay taking inventory or claim the item needed to be included.

Following these questions, your attorney will determine whether your case is strong enough to justify filing a lawsuit. There is rarely an easy answer.


What Can You Do to Avoid Inheritance Theft?


Stay vigilant.

Regarding inheritance hijacking, being vigilant and aware of the people around you are important. In addition, you should be cautious of new people entering your life until you are fully comfortable with them. If your family members suddenly behave differently as you get older, take note of it and discuss it with them.


Make your estate plan known to your family members.

It is best to discuss your estate plan with more than one person so that they know what it should look like. This will ensure that they can spot any discrepancies as they come up.


Make sure there are multiple executors.

To ensure your assets pass as directed by your will as soon as possible, consider appointing many Executors. This will ensure that they are all held accountable and no bias will be present when the time comes.


Multiply your estate planning documents to ensure that you have a backup.

A single location for your estate plan documents can make them mysteriously disappear. However, if your most trusted loved ones have many signed copies of your Estate Documents, they will be able to attest to their validity.


Make a comprehensive estate plan.

You can prevent inheritance hijacking by ensuring your estate plan is updated and comprehensive to stop it before it happens. It will be harder to dispute your papers if you have all of them in order, and it will serve as an additional layer of protection for your estate after you pass away.

We can help by providing the estate planning documents you need to secure your estate through Attorney Real Estate Group.


The Bottom Line

How to recover stolen inheritance? When you believe your inheritance has gone missing, inheritance theft laws can help you retain your rights to the estate. Creating a trust and choosing trustworthy individuals as your executor, trustee, and power of attorney are also important steps to preserve your estate for your heirs.

With the help of an experienced Attorney Real Estate inheritance lawyer, you can recover a stolen inheritance by filing a lawsuit against the alleged thief. An attorney can gather evidence of inheritance theft and file a lawsuit in the California probate court challenging the trust, will, or its administration based on the evidence gathered.

Using Attorney Real Estate Group, you can secure your estate using the necessary estate planning documents.

Hedy Ghavidel

HEDY GHAVIDEL Managing Attorney  Roseville Office  1-866-471-6981  Bio...

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