Families Stealing Money From Each Other

  • June 1, 2024
  • 3 min read

Growing Trend of Probate and Family Law Fraud
What we’re finding in 2024 and beyond is that probate fraud, or family law fraud, is the fastest-growing type of scam in the financial services industry. What does that mean? Anytime there is a family event—a divorce, a death in the family, somebody going into a conservatorship or into long-term care—other relatives or other parties in that family are going to look at it as an opportunity to extract money from the family.

How This Fraud Works
How does this work? Well, in prior generations, the younger people in a family were able to build up wealth and money through work, through the economy, and through their careers. The economy has changed to the point the point where the current generations, Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X, are having a tough time building wealth. They can’t buy a house because of inflation, insurance is too high, there’s no good job, and they can’t save money.

Economic Disparity Between Generations
The older generations, Baby Boomers and so on, have money because their period of earning was a lot different than it is now. So the wealth that saved probate is a very tempting source of money for the younger generation. They don’t want to wait till somebody dies to get the money, or if they do, they don’t want to take a chance they’re not going to get as much as they want.

Exploiting family events
So what they’re doing is looking at these family events as a means to divert money to themselves when they don’t deserve it. If somebody dies, they transfer assets before the will goes through. If somebody is getting old, they’ll even steal money and assets before the person dies.

Fraud in Divorce Cases
In a divorce, it’s even more prominent. Here’s a good article where a spouse in a divorce will transfer assets to themselves in advance of the divorce to try to keep from having to give them to the spouse they’re leaving. Look, in that case, the people already hate each other; they’re getting divorced, so they already are fighting, so you might as well try to steal money in addition.

Deceptive tactics in divorces
They’re doing things like hiding assets and creating fake bank accounts. Sometimes they’re even taking income and reducing it before the divorce, so it looks like they’re not making as much money, so they don’t have to pay as much spousal maintenance or child support.

Seeking professional advice
So if you are in a situation where there’s a major family event happening, get some good advice. Have a consultation. You can see our link below. Maybe get some legal advice from an attorney. Maybe do some research on assets before you make the final decision on what assets belong to you.

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