A personal representative may take advantage of their position as personal representative (“PR”) to misappropriate assets. Examples include, but are not limited to:
(a) Using PR status to garner a deal, such as buying the deceased’s car or home for a fraction of its true value;
(b) Helping themselves to the deceased’s personal possessions without the consent or knowledge of the beneficiaries; and/or
(c) Utilizing estate monies to pay for personal expenses not related to administration of the estate.
More serious offences may include the concealment and/or embezzlement of estate assets.
Misappropriation is not limited to PRs. Power of attorney abuse is on the rise in Canada. A power of attorney is a document appointing an individual (the “attorney”) to act on another’s behalf and typically grants authority to manage assets. They are common among the elderly who want to delegate control of their finances to a family member. Examples of abuse include theft of funds from bank accounts, transferring of accounts, investments, or other property into the attorney’s name, and/or selling property without the consent or knowledge of the donor (the person who granted power of attorney).
If you suspect an individual has taken assets without authorization, and would like further information on your options, please contact us.
Initial consultations are free of charge.