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Estate Fraud

Estate Fraud Attorney in Cleveland

If you have concerns about estate fraud, contacting an experienced Cleveland probate lawyer as soon as possible is the best course of action. 

In many cases, there is a limited time frame to take action. Disputes in probate court, for example, are best handled while the case is being settled - which is the point of the probate court process. Those who wait until they are unsatisfied with the outcome, may forfeit their rights and will have a much more difficult path to recovery. 

Allegations of estate fraud may also occur outside of probate court. Many estate planning tools, such as the establishment of trusts and named beneficiaries, are designed to avoid the probate process, where paying debts and distributing assets are supervised by the court. In such cases, estate fraud can be even more difficult to uncover and rectify. 

Common Types of Estate Fraud

While each case is unique, whenever an estate settlement is expected to be contentious, either because of the relationship among heirs or for other reasons, seeking help from a Cleveland probate attorney can best protect your rights. 

Common types of estate fraud in Ohio include:

  • Last Wills and Testament: The presence of more than one Will, or Wills updated at the last minute, can, at best, complicate estate settlement, and at worst, signal signs of fraud. 
  • Undue influence: A frail, incompetent or incapacitated person may be subject to undue or improper influence by a family member, loved one, or heir. 
  • Elder Fraud: A family member, friend or other third party may have taken financial advantage of an elderly person that is not uncovered until after death. 
  • Hiding assets: Assets of significant value may be hidden or not mentioned in a Will or estate plan. 
  • Liquidated assets: Assets may remain unaccounted for because they were sold or stolen. 
  • Changed beneficiaries: Payable on Death or Transferable on Death accounts pass to the named beneficiary outside the probate process. When these beneficiaries are changed, significant assets may pass to unintended beneficiaries with little or no court supervision. 
  • Misuse of power of attorney: A person handling the affairs of an elderly loved one through a power of attorney may transfer or liquidate assets before death. 
  • Hiding a Will: In some cases, fraud may be committed by hiding a Will so that a person’s estate is distributed Intestate (to closest relatives) in accordance with Ohio law. 

Contesting Estate Settlement

Time is of the essence because under Ohio law you may have just 3-6 months to contest a Will or probated estate. 

The Law Offices of Daniel McGowan, LLC is a full-service law practice, with extensive experience in the areas of litigation and trial practice, elder law, and probate law and trust law.  Daniel McGowan is well known for his experience with the probate process and Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio and probate courts.  He has a reputation for being accessible and for his thoughtful and innovative manner he solves probate problems and other civil disputes.

Daniel McGowan represents clients in probate and estate matters throughout the Cleveland area, including Lakewood, Rocky River, Fairview Park, Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, South Euclid, East Cleveland, Linndale, Brooklyn, Parma, Brook Park. Newburgh Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, Brooklyn Heights, Warrensville Heights, Maple Heights, Garfield Heights, Bratenahl and Euclid.

Call 216-242-6054 today for a free and confidential consultation.

Law Offices of Daniel McGowan, LLC is a full-service law practice, with extensive experience in the areas of litigation and trial practice, elder law, and probate law and trust law. The information on this website, however, is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Each legal situation is unique and you should consult with a reputable attorney regarding your specific circumstances.
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