Inheritance theft laws exist to protect heirs and beneficiaries. Inheritance theft is sometimes a real issue for those who inherit money, property, or other assets. If you will receive an inheritance or have received one stolen from you, you must know your legal rights and how to get those assets back.
Yahoo’s recent article “Someone Stole My Inheritance. What Are My Options?” says inheritance theft can take different forms, and some are more obvious than others. Some common examples of inheritance theft or inheritance hijacking include:
Inheritance theft can also occur on a more personal level. Perhaps you and your sister share caregiving duties for your aging mother. Without your knowledge, your sister can access your mother’s bank accounts and takes out a large sum while your mother still lives. Your mother then names you as the executor of her will. When she dies, you inventory her assets as required. While doing so, you discover the missing funds from her bank accounts. If you and your sister were supposed to have inherited those assets jointly, this could violate state inheritance theft laws.
People who commit inheritance theft may be subject to criminal and civil penalties. A caregiver who steals money from someone’s bank accounts or coerces them into signing over other assets could also be charged with a felony or misdemeanor crime.
The injured heirs or beneficiaries may also pursue a civil claim against someone they believe has stolen their inheritance.
Reference: Yahoo (Jan. 18, 2023) “Someone Stole My Inheritance. What Are My Options?”
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