Monday, February 1, 2010

Theft from Estate

The Chicago Tribune is reporting on an alleged $140,000 theft from an Iowa estate.,0,7766795.story

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.


  1. My Dad just dies last wednesday. He had cancer that metatsisized to the bones in his head. He was also illiterate. The day my dad died his wife who had a stroke last year. started saying it's all mine. Then came the reading of the will and even things that we had as a family before she came along was put in her name. She just kept saying it's all mine. My father had 4 childern and he had told us kids over and over what went to who because he did'nt know how to write and didn't trust the written word because he couldn't read. I personally shut my business down for 3 months of my busy season to care for both my Father and his wife after she had her stroke. I did 24 hour nursing care for both of them the whole time. Untill I almost lost my own home, car, bills had gone out of control. And yet she begged me to stay to take care of her and my father. My brothers helped as much as they could afford also. We did it for the love of our parents and treated her as she would have been our own mother. We have been totally disinherited from the estate. The items my dad told each of us kids were ours and we all knew what each item there was. She called us theives and sold evereything of meaning and gave the rest to the goodwill without even asking if we would want anything. family pictures were thrown away, The cards from the funeral were thrown away, without thank yous. There was a tractor that my brother was soposed to get for all the work he had done rebuilding the house they lived in and they did a hand shake verbal deal in front of witnesses and she sold id before he could have a day to get it. This has all happened in 1 week. Is there anyway we can probate this? I know that the day my fother signed his last will he was comprimised from the tumors that wer pressing on his brain. I know he was miss lead. And another thing Could I have a cliam for 24 hour care of both parents for the 3 months I was there. I lost over half my income because my business is the busiest in the spring to the summer ( I work on boats) . I have worked in nursing for 11 years prior to the business I own now. I went to nursing school and graduated with honors. Not that matters much but I am highly skilled in medical care and in hospice. I was the person who pronounced my fathers time of death.
    Besides all the hurt this woman has put us through. We treated her better than her own kids did. They wouldn't even come to see her when she had her stroke. We took care of her.Now that there is money they were there and took everything from us. They even threw my fathers babybook away after I asked nicely in front of everyone if we could have it. Is there anything we can do.
    When she had her storke I took a photo inventory of the house and every cupboard door was opened, every closet was opened. the yard the sheds everything. Can we use this in a probate claim?

  2. You need to speak with an experienced probate attorney licensed in your state as soon as possible. Generally, it can be difficult to recover against the will for time and care given to the relative. However, in light of your father's illiteracy, the validity of the will itself may be questionable. Once the will is turned over to begin the probate process, you may have a limited time to dispute its validity. You should meet with a licensed attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.