When probate fraud happens early in the estate administration process, it can sometimes go unnoticed unless rightful beneficiaries and heirs are paying careful attention. Often, individuals are distracted by other matters surrounding the loss of their loved one and do not realize that the fraudulent activity has taken place, or they realize it later when it is too late. Hiring an experienced Riverside probate lawyer to help protect your rights and interests can go a long way toward reducing the chance of fraud depreciating your rightful inheritance.
What are some real-life examples of fraud that happens in the early stages of a probate administration in California? The following are five common examples:
- An executor is instructed under a will to leave a decedent’s estate to a charity. Instead of turning over all of the property, the executor replaces valuable antique furniture with far less expensive furniture, hoping that no one will notice the difference.
- A child who was disinherited from his parent’s will obtains a copy of an old will in which he was still a beneficiary. He uses the old will to attempt to probate the estate, thereby receiving property that he is not rightfully entitled to.
- Someone drafts a fake will or codicil to a will that gives a substantial inheritance that he or she would otherwise not have received. This person enters the fake will or codicil into probate for administration.
- Some of the rightful heirs of a deceased relative with no will do not list all of the rightful heirs on the probate petition, hoping that it will not be noticed. As a result, only a portion of the class of people entitled to receive the property of the decedent actually receive anything.
- A child enters the home of a deceased parent without telling anyone and removes valuable items of personal property, such as jewelry, before the probate process begins. As a result, these items are not included in the probate.
To learn more about hiring the right attorney for your matter, view our free article, Five Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Trust and Probate Litigation Attorney. Contact an experienced Riverside probate litigation attorney today at (888) 443-6590 for a free consultation.