Probate Fraud takes place when someone submits an improper Will or false information with the intent to deceive. Knowing the proper way to respond to these fraudulent documents or claims is a skill set learned only with years of experience. Our firm is one of the very few who focus on Estate Litigation surrounding Probate Fraud. Defending The Wronged, It’s What We Do!
Probate Fraud Litigation takes place when an interested party claims that there has been fraud in the probate process.
First, let me explain the Probate Process. Probate is the process whereby the State recognizes a person to manage the deceased’s estate. Wills name Executors or Personal Representatives. Otherwise, if there is no Will, the State selects an Administrator.
Probate begins when the Executor submits to the Register or Surrogate the Will and death certificate. When no Will exists, Probate begins when an interested party Petitions the Register or Surrogate. Initially, the government official examines the death certificate to verify the person is dead. She then verifies the Will’s authenticity. Or, if there is no Will, she verifies that the petitioner is a qualified Administrator. Then, if all is in order, the Executor or Administrator pays a fee and receives documentation proving that she officially represents the estate.
The judge can determine that Fraud took place only if he or she hears the proper evidence. You must provide the judge evidence in the form of documents and testimony. Gathering this evidence requires depositions, expert witnesses such as accountants, interrogatories, witness interviews, subpoenaed documents and evidence presented following the Rules of Evidence and subject to objections by the accused’s attorney. Our experienced Estate Litigation Attorneys will walk you through every step of this complicated journey. This is what we do.
Probate Litigation takes place during this process if one of the following situations exist.
Will Contest: An interested person wishes to challenge the entire Will’s validity. Go to Will Contests to learn more.
Administrator Appointments: If there is no Will and the family cannot agree on who should serve as Administrator. Disputes over who serves as Administrator result in a contested hearing. An experienced Probate Litigation Attorney exposes when someone lies to the hearing officer or submits fraudulent evidence; having an experienced Probate Litigation Attorney is vital. The decision maker only allows a short time for evidence and testimony. Improper procedures and evidentiary failures may result in the wrong person gaining control over the estate.
Executor Fraud: When an interested person believes the personal representative has committed fraud or overcharged the estate. Go to Executor Fees to learn more. An experienced Probate Litigation Attorney can follow the procedures and evidentiary rules to provide the judge with the evidence and testimony to allow the judge to demand fees returned. Go to Breach of Fiduciary Duty to learn more.
Formal Accountings: When an interested person believes the Executor or Administrator has committed Fraud a Probate Attorney can obtain the right to evidentiary discovery to prove the crime. Go to Formal Accountings to learn more.
Spousal Elective Share Fraud: When someone is falsely submitting a claim for Spousal Election. See Elective Share of Spouse for more information
Guardianship Fraud: When an interested party believes that a guardian has committed fraud the Estate Litigation Attorney can gather the evidence and bring the Guardian before a judge. Go to Formal Accountings to learn more.
Trustee Removals: If a Trustee has committed fraud, an interested party can authorize an Estate Litigation Lawyer to gather the necessary evidence. If the judge finds the evidence compelling, he can remove the Trustee. See Trustee Removal to learn more.
Agent Under Power of Attorney Removals: If an Agent has committed fraud, an interested party can authorize an Estate Litigation Lawyer to gather the necessary evidence. If the judge finds the evidence compelling, he can remove the Agent. See Removal of Agents Under a Power of Attorney for more information.
For more than two decades Klenk Law has focused only on Estate Law. We’ve seen it all, and this experience allows us to explain complex estate law clearly and concisely. If you are involved in Probate Fraud Litigation, our experienced Estate Litigation Attorneys will make it easy for you to understand and provide top notch representation so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
Many firms assign Estate Litigation cases to their young lawyers or a general litigator. This is not cost effective. Being that Estate Litigation is what we do, our experience allows us to focus quickly on the issues that matter. By being focused, we arrive at the most cost efficient plan. We find the solution to your problem while the others are just warming up.
While some firms litigate, few of them have whole departments focused exclusively on estate matters. At Klenk Law, our Probate Litigators have the luxury of partnering with other lawyers from our Probate or Estate Planning Departments. The depth of experience we can focus on your case is truly impressive. Whatever issue you are facing, our team has the answer.
Our breadth of experience allows us to successfully represent beneficiaries taking on lazy trustees and executors. In the same way, we are equally skilled at protecting trustees and executors from ungrateful beneficiaries. Whether you are a fiduciary, agent, guardian or beneficiary, our skills will best represent your case.
Klenk Law is an exceptional practice. Their fine lawyers and staff team up to produce excellent results for their clients. They excel at explaining the often cryptic laws and policies that govern estate planning right down to the complexities of the various "trust" frameworks. Peter himself manages each client together with his great team, and he has a rare quality to be both a walking encyclopedia of planning minutia and also one of the most likable lawyers I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. He is truly generous in intellect and in his personal approach to getting the "big picture" for complex family structures. I trust him implicitly to help me make the right choices for the future. In short, Klenk Law is a gem of a firm.
I have worked with Peter Klenk & his associates for some time now and I have found them to be ultra-qualified, knowledgeable and diligent about their work. I highly recommend them.
Peter Klenk ESQ is a thoughtful and capable attorney who we work with on estate planning issues. His firm recently provided us with new Wills, Power of Attorneys and our instructions regarding major health issues. These documents are important for estate and life planning. Peter and his team are masters in the complexities of Estate Law. We highly recommend Peter and his Associates to provide thoughtful advice and outstanding work on these complex issues of the law. Make sure your estate planning documents are up to date, and Peter can be relied on to do an excellent job. Well done Peter!
Mr. Klenk has been easy to work with. I am confident he has given me good advice whenever I have called upon him. He has shown good work ethic and depth of knowledge in preparation of estate, wills, and trusts that I have worked with him on.