Investigate Estate Fraud
Uncovering Evidence of Estate Fraud.
Heirs and beneficiaries often have justification to ask the following types of questions:
- Why did he get that amount of money?
- Where did the assets go? I thought there were more.
- Who was the Executor?
- Why did the Executor change?
- Assets have gone missing, what can I do?
Unfortunately, this is an increasingly common scenario, especially in cases involving high net worth individuals. Power of attorney abuse is one of many vehicles used in to exploit the elderly. Every case is unique; discrepancies, omissions, and misrepresentations commonly occur. A forensic accountant will look for the following circumstances and much more:
- Suspicious financial activity on the part of caregiver(s).
- Discovering shell entities with no legitimate accounting activity.
- Evidence of undue influence and other elder abuse.
- Evidence of a forged or coerced will and/or missing original will.
- Removal of assets from the estate.
- Trustee/Executor self-dealing or other breach of fiduciary duty to beneficiaries.
The relationships between principals, agents, and powers of attorney are all governed by State law. Certain activities such as gift giving, changing the rights of survivorship, and waiving beneficiary rights require express authority between the principal and agent. An experienced examiner will review these documents for authenticity.
Our financial investigators, forensic accountants, CPAs, and computer examiners work with our clients and their estate lawyers to uncover evidence of estate or probate fraud. In the event of fraudulent activity, there are steps we can take to reconcile the financials and trace the money trail back to the perpetrator. In such cases we provide our clients a comprehensive report which can be used to obtain restitution and/or be submitted to law enforcement for criminal prosecution.