The Chicago Tribune is reporting on an alleged $140,000 theft from an Iowa estate.
Unfortunately, theft from estates can happen. When you get your will together, you will name a "personal representative", which is also known as an executor. This person will have the responsibility and access to deal with your financial affairs after your death. This person has a lot of power, so be sure to name someone who you trust with your finances.
If you think a personal representative is not entirely on the up-and-up in dealing with an estate, there are some things you can do if you are a creditor, family member or other interested person. Some examples are requesting an accounting of the estate from the personal representative or petitioning the court to supervise the personal representatives actions. If you are concerned about a personal representative's conduct, contact a licensed attorney.