Estate Litigation – Part II

The second most common estate challenge deals with improper transfers of assets during the lifetime of the decedent. After an individual dies, questions as to the validity of transfers of assets during the decedent’s lifetime sometimes occur. The most common manner in which the funds of a decedent are improperly transferred involves the improper actions taken with a power of attorney. This may be through an individual taking funds from a joint account which was opened solely for the convenience of assisting the senior in paying bills and dealing with normal daily expenses.

Power of Attorney

It should be noted a power of attorney is a document in which one person authorizes another individual to act on their behalf with regard to financial matters. Sometimes powers of attorney are improperly utilized to improperly take funds from a senior by the individual with the power of attorney ingratiating themselves to the senior’s detriment. A method of improperly utilizing a power of attorney is to have the individual who has the power pay his or her bills from the seniors assets. Another inappropriate action sometimes involves the transferring of real estate under the power of attorney to the benefit of the individual holding the power of attorney. This can be considered the improper converting of assets of the senior. This is a violation of the fiduciary obligations of the individual holding the power of attorney.

Improper Estate Administration

The third most common issue which is litigated in estates deals with the improper administration of the estate. Sometimes the fiduciary, whether it be an executor or an administrator, acts in a manner which is detrimental to preserving the assets of the estate. In these cases, beneficiaries’ rights can be compromised unless legal action is taken. Beneficiaries are entitled to a copy of the decedent’s last will and testament and an accounting as to what took place during the course of the administration of the estate. There are proceedings called accounting proceedings which can be brought on behalf of beneficiaries which allows the investigation by the attorney for the beneficiary to look into what actually transpired during the period of the administration of the estate.

Experienced Estate Attorneys

In the event either you, a loved one, family member, or friend have an issue with regard to any aspect of an estate, the best way to see to it your rights are protected and any funds you are entitled to come into are properly dealt with is to hire an experienced estates attorney to protect your attorney