After experiencing the loss of a loved one, the last thing that you want to deal with is probate fraud. This crime occurs when someone illegally steals an inheritance from its rightful heirs at law using document forgery, executor fraud, undue influence, or other nefarious methods.
Unfortunately, there are people willing to take advantage of grieving family members. If you feel that you and your family have been the victims of probate fraud, contact an experienced wills lawyer right away. You need empathetic and diligent representation to recover your losses and protect your loved ones from fraud in Richmond wills.
Probate fraud can take many forms. Some common examples include:
Fraud can occur at any stage of the probate process. For one, a person’s will could be forged or fraudulently obtained, leading to the estate being dispersed in a way that is against the deceased’s wishes. Alternatively, assets could be hidden from the rest of the family by the executor or other administrators, preventing the rightful heir from receiving their proper inheritance. Another form of probate fraud is when an executor or administrator takes funds out of the account and makes unauthorized payments that are not part of the Richmond estate.
In some cases, probate fraud can be halted just by showing the opportunists’ true colors. A dedicated Richmond attorney can also help families reclaim the inheritance and money stolen through will fraud. The only way to stop probate fraud and reclaim inheritance is by acting quickly and gathering evidence.
When probate fraud occurs, the heirs at law should take immediate action to secure their rightful inheritance. There are a couple of options available in seeking retribution. The theft can be reported to authorities, or the heirs can file a lawsuit against the person who improperly received money from the estate. An assertive wills attorney can assist Richmond residents in taking civil action against probate fraud.
If you believe that someone stole money or property from a Richmond estate, you may choose to file a criminal complaint. The local police will investigate the theft, and if they find evidence that a crime was committed, they may arrest the person responsible. Although this option can help in some cases, many people choose to file a lawsuit instead with the help of a nearby probate fraud attorney.
A civil lawsuit allows you to seek justice from the responsible party. In civil litigation, a party may be required to provide restitution, or repayment, to the estate if they are found responsible for fraud. It may be easier to resolve a lawsuit than to have criminal charges filed, and civil action is often more effective in compelling the fraudulent party to return the value of the stolen property.
The sooner you become aware of and take action against probate fraud, the better chance that the property or its value will be returned. Cases involving probate fraud can be complex and require much research and investigation. A knowledgeable probate fraud attorney can help you resolve this difficult situation as quickly and effectively as possible.
Fraud in Richmond wills is unfortunately a common occurrence. If you and your family have been victimized by fraudulent and illegal activity, contact a probate attorney in your area right away. You deserve restitution for your stolen inheritance, and our legal team is willing and ready to fight on your behalf.
Romano & Sumner, PLLC