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November 21, 2008

Financial Elder Abuse: Estate Looting - 'A Must Read'

Estate looting of the rich and famous (and how it can happen to you)
Estate Looting of the Rich and Famous (and How It Can Happen to You)
By Lou Ann Anderson
November 18, 2008
www.EstateofDenial.com

The legal profession is not generally well regarded. A particularly heinous sub-culture surrounds the probate industry in which lawyers and select clients (wannabe heirs, disgruntled family members, etc.) use probate venues and/or estate planning instruments (wills, trusts, guardianships) to perpetrate Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) actions – or more simply put, to loot assets of the dead or disabled/incapacitated.

IRA actions found in high profile cases often parallel the looting acts perpetrated on estates of far less value. These high profile cases can establish precedents - both good and bad - that impact people at all levels of the economic spectrum. It’s important to understand these “infamous” cases as similar scenarios could play out in your life.

The idea that executors would change a will to include otherwise omitted heirs is cause for concern. Per news reports, this move was approved by the New York Attorney General as well as a judge. It established a precedent for disregarding the final wishes of a decedent and jeopardizing inheritance rights of named heirs. This legal point is now likely to surface in other probate disputes as rationalization for discounting clear intentions expressed in a will. It happened to Leona, it can happen to you.

Now, estate assets once thought to be yours or your prospective heirs may not stay that way due to speculative efforts of disgruntled family members or others perceiving some “entitlement.” Widespread exposure of this problem is critical. No inoculation for Involuntary Redistribution of Assets exists, but as we always say, forewarned is forearmed.

Why then would a judge blatantly choose to disrespect a person’s final wishes?

Regardless, though, an ugly personality isn’t grounds to usurp basic property rights including final distribution of one’s assets.

Abridged
SOURCE: Estate of Denial Blog

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Yet another great article from Lou Ann. I strongly recommend a visit to the original source.
A frightening senario but true. Can we ever learn from those cases cited in this article?
More importantly, can we do anything to ensure that our wishes and instructions will be carried out; without interference from disgruntled family members and their lawyers and judges?

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DISCLAIMER

Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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