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By: Scott Grossman on June 18th, 2018

Executor Theft: What should I do if I suspect theft from a California probate estate?

If you are the beneficiary of a California probate estate and suspect executor theft of estate property, it is important to act quickly. Waiting too long may make it impossible for you to ever receive the property to which you are entitled.

Steps  you can take if you suspect that California executor theft may be occurring:

  • Contact an experienced probate litigation attorney for guidance. The California probate laws are complex, and failing to take the proper actions could jeopardize the chances of getting the stolen funds back from the executor. An experienced professional will analyze the facts surrounding your claim and assist you in protecting your legal rights
  • Gather a copy of the will, which demonstrates your rights as a beneficiary
  • Review copies of all probate documents, including inventories and accounts
  • Request copies of any information that you do not have, including details about specific property items or funds
  • Gather copies of all communications with the executor
  • File a petition with the probate court regarding the executor theft
  • Consider filing a criminal complaint in addition to a civil matter

Key Terms: 

  • Beneficiary (noun): A person who benefits from a trust, will, or life insurance policy. This includes heir, heiress, inheritor, legatee; recipient, receiver, payee, donee, assignee; devisee, grantee.
  • Estate (noun): An estate includes the things that a person owns. The things left by someone who has died can be distributed based on a Will, Trust, or Intestate laws. Estates have to be administered in the Probate Court if the estate meets certain criteria. See our Infographic on The Probate Process.


If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form. A comprehensive overview of California Probate is available here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.