Probate Cases Have Fraud 65% Of The Time

  • February 21, 2024
  • 2 min read

Recognizing a Troubling Trend
Man, I can’t tell you how many times we hear the same story. It’s like a broken record: a family is broken apart or has major conflict within it because of the estate planning or probate planning of that family. Sometimes it’s even before an elderly parent dies or an elderly relative dies.

Generational wealth dynamics
In this day and age, a lot of Baby Boomers and older generations have assets and money. Meanwhile, many younger generations, like Gen Z and Millennials, don’t have as much in terms of financial security. Thus, they may be inclined to seek more than their fair share of the assets from the older generations.

The Rise of Probate Fraud
We’re seeing what we call probate fraud exploding. Even before a person dies, sometimes relatives are circling like sharks to grab assets. They may attempt to clean out bank accounts, transfer property titles, or even initiate conservatorships to gain control of assets.

Facing Uncomfortable Realities
The number of times that we hear every single day family members saying, “I think somebody that’s close to me—brother, sister, aunt, uncle—is taking money from an older relative, but I don’t know,” is alarming. However, when investigations occur, it’s often found to be true that someone is taking money or assets.

Understanding Motivations
It’s almost inconceivable to think that somebody would steal from their own family, but in many cases, it’s out of desperation. Some individuals may be experiencing financial problems or may simply not be decent people. Additionally, there’s a belief that they won’t get caught or that there won’t be any investigation.

Taking Preventive Measures
If you’re in a family where you have older relatives, such as grandparents or older parents, and you know the clock is ticking, it’s crucial to start identifying and itemizing assets now. Waiting until the person’s passing may result in many assets being gone or harder to trace. Taking proactive steps can help safeguard against potential probate fraud.

Conclusion: Understanding the dynamics at play and taking preventive measures can help protect family assets and maintain harmony within families during challenging times of estate planning and probate. It’s essential to recognize the signs of potential fraud and take action to mitigate the risks.

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