Executor Steals from Probate Estate: Theft and California Probate
Theft from a California probate estate unfortunately happens more often than one might think. While the deceased individual may have placed a great deal of trust in the person that he or she named as a fiduciary over his or her estate, sometimes that trust is later broken. Recently, a Pennsylvania man was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay restitution to the estate of his late aunt after allegedly stealing more than $500,000. Under the California probate laws, heirs and beneficiaries should act quickly if they suspect that an executor committed theft.
If an heir or beneficiary suspects that the executor of an estate is stealing, he or she should consult with a probate attorney immediately. They will assist in evaluating the facts and circumstances surrounding the claim and advise whether to bring civil or criminal complaints against the executor.
Steps to be taken if an Executor Steals from a Probate Estate may include:
- Bringing a petition before the court regarding the theft
- Gathering and presenting evidence that the executor is mishandling the assets of the estate
- Requesting the removal of the executor and appointment of a new executor
- Bringing the case to trial, during which time the executor is usually not allowed to spend any of the estate’s money
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