When people are unable to protect their assets due to illness or death, a trustee or executor begins managing the assets. When an ethical person is in this role, all beneficiaries are notified about their rights and asset inheritance and information. However, an executor or trustee may use this position to misuse the estate assets.
If an executor or trustee misuses money, hides information about certain insurance policies or other assets, or does not tell the heirs about their rights, a person may be guilty of trust and estate fraud. Additionally, if a person in this position uses the estate assets for their own self-interest, such as investing into one’s own business, the heirs can likely sue this bad executor or trustee for breach of fiduciary duties and estate fraud.
Estate fraud basically involves theft of the estate assets. It can occur when a large sum of money is taken at one time or smaller amounts are misused over a longer period of time. Sadly, many bad executors and trustees are relatives who are looking out for their own good. Unfortunately, many family members do not even recognize that estate fraud in Georgia is occurring right under their noses because they trust the person in this position.
If you suspect a trustee or executor is mishandling the estate assets, you need to talk with an estate planning and probate attorney before it is too late. Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith to speak with an experienced Norcross estate planning lawyer today at (770) 487-8999 and find out more.