What is the penalty for stealing from an estate?

A person’s estate and will are left behind when they die. The recently deceased person will have designated someone as the executor in the testament. The executor will complete all will aspects and divide assets from the estate among the beneficiaries.

The executor will close the bank accounts, collect all titles, including those to homes, cars, and jewelry, and gather items like furniture, cash, family heirlooms, and jewelry so that all these things, along with things like stocks and business ownership, can be distributed according to the will.

There are instances when executors keep things that they shouldn’t. The executor is legally entitled to access bank accounts and cash to pay final bills, tax bills, medical costs, funeral expenses, etc. Stealing money from an estate is easy if you have access to these things.

Executors aren’t the only ones who can steal an estate. In many cases, a beneficiary who disapproves of the final testament will steal from other beneficiaries. The initial will may be destroyed. If the format were used throughout the choice, committing an illegal act would almost be impossible since the property would be protected.

Assume that the Jones family comprises a dad and three kids. The father dies, leaving behind an art collection for the first child. All the jewelry belongs to the second, while family heirlooms, furniture, and other items are left to the third. All the children agreed to allow the second child to take specific family pictures. When the second kid went to the executor to pick up the requested photos, the executor couldn’t find them. One of the children had taken them after deciding they didn’t want them to go to the second kid. Although many people may consider this a family matter, technically, it is a crime.

Is inheritance theft a crime?

Theft of estate property or assets is a criminal offense. Accordingly, if a person is convicted of violating the laws of a state, they can be charged with committing felony charges. To convict someone at Probate Court, you must prove to the judge that they have violated the state’s laws and stolen money from an estate.

What can be taken from an estate of a deceased person?

Many things are considered theft from an estate by law. Theft of deceased property includes:


You can also find out more about the following:


You can also find out more about the following:




Most people steal from estates. Other items can be taken in unique ways. All of these crimes still count as theft. You can, for example:

Some people steal money that is not documented, such as from an estate of a deceased person. They claim the money was theirs.

Some people may produce new wills at the last moment with different inheritances or forged intentions.

Some people destroy a choice so that instead of distributing things according to the wishes of the deceased, they divide everything based on the state’s laws.

In certain cases, money may be transferred from an estate account to personal accounts for embezzlement.

Heirs may lie to the executor about each other to change the amount they inherit. This is especially true if an heir lives far away or is challenging to reach.

What you need to know about inheritance theft laws

You can bring civil or criminal charges for inheritance theft in every state.

You have a right under inheritance theft laws to remove an executor from a will. After working with a law firm specializing in probate, you can obtain a court order requiring the executor to return stolen assets from beneficiaries and pay any damages. The court order also covers the legal fees for recovering the stolen property.

The laws against inheritance fraud do not only apply to the executives. The rules also apply to beneficiaries. Beneficiaries may be charged with stealing from an estate if they take things intended for another person, not their inheritance.

What Should I Do If My Estate Has Been Stolen?

You can contact an attorney if your inheritance has been stolen and ask them to send you a letter of demand if you know who took it. You may see the person who took an item in many cases. You can impose a fine for stealing an item from a deceased estate or request that the person return the item in exchange for dropping any charges. Once an individual receives a letter from a lawyer, they are more likely to return the property.

If they don’t, you can bring them to court. If your inheritance has been stolen and you have the proof, your lawyer can request a court order to demand that the property be returned. In such cases, the court may penalize the individual who stole from the estate. They will also force them to pay attorney’s fees and damages.

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