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.
Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.
Peter Klenk was great in leading us in the estate planning process.He was clear in describing the various steps and what they would accomplish. We were well satisfied and pleased that we had Peter to guide us.
Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.
I've worked with and known Peter Klenk and his associates for years. They are highly professional, diligent and truly experts in their field. By focusing on just wills, trusts, and estates, Klenk law has experienced every angle of estate planning and applied that knowledge to help prepare our clients with thorough and comprehensive documents.
Peter has done our family's trust and estate work since our children were born. He is not only extremely knowledgeable and honest, but makes sure that our arrangements remain current with the changing legal landscape. I would give him my highest recommendation as a professional in his field.