Full-Service Probate And Estate Planning Assistance

Inheritance theft is more common than you think

On Behalf of | May 19, 2022 | Estate Administration & Probate |

Coming into your inheritance in Washington may seem like the answer to your prayer. This is the event that you may have been looking forward to for years. It can be the time at which you can finally gain your financial independence. But it can also be the time during which you uncover the grim results of theft.

Some common examples of inheritance hijacking

The theft of your inheritance can take many forms. These are common examples that are brought up during the course of hearings related to estate administration and probate. The crime can originate with the executor of the will when they attempt to hide certain assets from the final inventory. They can also charge outrageous fees for their services.

The person named under a power of attorney may try to abuse the authority that was granted to them. They may try to contest the will or delay it from being published. Meanwhile, a trustee may be actively draining funds or other assets from the trust that they were appointed to oversee on your behalf.

The theft of your inheritance is unlawful

You should be aware that any attempt by an individual to drain funds or other assets from your inheritance is illegal. This is activity that is a clear violation of the duties and responsibilities that are incumbent on an executor. If caught in the act, they can be charged with a series of misdemeanor or felony crimes.

The severity of the punishment for inheritance theft will depend on the circumstances the theft was committed under. The total amount that was stolen will also be taken into consideration. A complete inventory of the estate will be commenced in order to ascertain if theft has taken place. If so, legal action will proceed.