Losing a loved one is difficult; finding out their assets have been depleted due to improper use of a power of attorney or finding out your rights as a beneficiary of a loved one’s estate have been compromised because of an unlawful act is even more stressful. It is important to ensure your rights are preserved if you believe your loved one has been forced to transfer assets against their will, a Trust Agreement or Will has been modified due to undue influence, or someone has unlawfully appropriated money or assets from an estate.
When Undue Influence Occurs
As an example, often our aging loved ones accept help from individuals who, in most cases, are caregivers responsible for assisting our family members with bill payment, day-to-day care and managing their overall finances. Unfortunately, from time to time, these caregivers take advantage of elderly family members and in some cases, establish accounts for the sole purpose of transferring wealth from the family to themselves. In these cases, when you suspect wrongdoing, you have the right to work with an attorney to determine if a caregiver or another trusted person took advantage of your loved one.
Unlawful Modification or Use of Proceeds
If your loved one suddenly changed the terms of their Will or modified a Trust Agreement that had been in place for years, it may have been due to the influence of a person who was tasked with assisting them. It is possible that a caregiver could have coerced a loved one to execute a Power of Attorney and they used that Power of Attorney to deplete financial accounts, transfer property or change beneficiaries. These instances are generally known as a breach of fiduciary trust and may be subject to New York and New Jersey fraud statutes.
If you have reason to believe a loved one was improperly influenced by a caregiver or another family member, or if you believe that money or assets have been unlawfully taken from the estate, contact Attorney Stephen J. Draisin at 201-569-2929 immediately. With years of experience handling probate law in both New York and New Jersey, Attorney Draisin can review your case and help you decide how best to protect your rights.