Pilfering, embezzlement, or outright fraud, are all ways assets may be misappropriated from a person’s estate.
A personal representative of an estate is the individual trusted to administer an estate according to a deceased person's will. However, a personal representative ("PR") may take advantage of his or her role to exploit and/or misappropriate estate assets.
Examples of PR misappropriation or exploitation may include:
- using his or her status to buy estate assets from the estate for less than fair market value;
- transfer estate assets (like a deceased's car) from the estate into his or her own name;
- removing a deceased person's personal assets from the estate without the consent or knowledge of beneficiaries;
- utilizing estate funds to pay for personal expenses not related to the administration of the estate;
- concealment of estate assets from beneficiaries; or
- embezzlement of estate assets.
Financial exploitation and/or misappropriation can also be found in situations where an individual acting as an attorney under a power of attorney is in charge of managing financial assets of a friend or family member. Often the friend or family member is elderly and lacks capacity due to age or dementia.
Examples of attorney misappropriation or exploitation may include:
- removing money from bank accounts;
- transferring bank accounts into joint names;
- an attorney facilitating the transfer or real property into his or her name;
- naming his or herself as the beneficiary on life insurance policies or RRSPs; or
- selling property without the consent or knowledge of the elderly friend or family member.
If you suspect a personal representative has misappropriated or exploited assets of an estate or you believe an attorney is financially exploiting an elderly friend or family the lawyers contact Kantor LLP and one of our lawyers will provide you with information on your options.
Initial consultations are free of charge.