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Theft and California Probate: Steps to Take When a California Executor Steals from a Probate Estate

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 San Diego probate attorney immediately. The lawyer 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 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

Learning to navigate the complex California probate system when you suspect an executor of theft can be very challenging. Fortunately, the Grossman Law Firm is here to guide you through the process and assist you in preserving the assets of the estate. For more information about bringing a claim against an executor, view our free guide The Ultimate Guide to California Trust and Probate Litigation.

To learn more about addressing executor theft as part of the probate process, contact an experienced California probate litigation attorney today for guidance. Call the Grossman Law Firm at (888) 443-6590.

Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman


The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307

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