My Inheritance Was Stolen. What Do I Do?
One of the main ways people build wealth is by receiving inheritances from their deceased loved ones. If your inheritance is stolen, it can adversely affect your finances and possibly your children’s future. Inheritance can be stolen in different ways. For example, after the death of a loved one, someone may physically take an inheritance that the decedent left for you in their Will. Inheritance can also be stolen through the manipulation of a testator or the forging of a Will. Whatever the case, it is vital that you retain a skilled probate litigation attorney.
Steps To Take if Your Inheritance Was Stolen
The first step you should take if someone took your inheritance is to hire a qualified probate litigation attorney. However, this is not the only step you can take after losing an inheritance. There are other things you can do if your inheritance is stolen.
First, if you know who took your inheritance, keep proper documentation. Maintain records of correspondence between you and the one who stole your inheritance. Also, keep a record of the times you witnessed any strange behavior. If you are uncertain who stole your inheritance, keep a record of anyone you saw acting suspiciously. Any information you can give to your attorney can be beneficial.
Second, if you know who stole your inheritance, you may try asking for it back. If you confront the person with clear evidence showing that you know they stole your inheritance, they may be willing to give it back. However, if confronting someone who stole your inheritance could put you in danger, it’s best not to try it.
Additionally, you can sue the person who stole your inheritance. However, filing a lawsuit may not be necessary if your attorney sends a demand letter. Sometimes people, especially siblings, are willing to return stolen inheritance after getting a demand letter from an attorney.
Filing a Will Contest
If someone manipulated your loved one to alter their Will before they passed away or forged a Will, you could file what is known as a Will Contest. When you file a Will contest, you raise an objection against the legitimacy of the Will based on the argument that the Will doesn’t reflect the testator’s actual intention. For example, you can file a Will contest if someone used their power of position to persuade your deceased loved one to alter their Will while they were alive. This is known as “undue influence.” You can also file a Will contest if someone threatened the testator into altering their Will. This is known as “duress.” Regarding forgery, you can file a Will contest on this ground if you can show that someone falsified the Will and/or the signatures.
It’s crucial that you work with a qualified probate litigation attorney. An attorney will evaluate your case, help determine how best to proceed, and guide you each step of the way. Also, winning a Will contest without an attorney can be hard.
Contact The Probate Guy for Legal Help
If you believe your inheritance was stolen and need help recovering it, contact the skilled and dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – today to schedule a FREE telephonic consultation.
Southern California Probate Lawyer Serving Orange, Riverside, Anaheim, Whittier & Beyond.