Stephen Bilkis
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Probate Fraud

A Philadelphia probate fraud lawyer will help you anticipate challenges in your probate case and assist you when you believe that someone has submitted false information with the intent to deceive or an improper will. Knowing the correct way to respond to these types of fraudulent claims or documents is a skill set that can only come with many years of experience.

Do you know what it takes to gather this evidence in advance and to present it to an attorney who can help you? If you’ve never done this before, there’s a good chance you don’t know how to prepare. Any type of probate fraud, including an executor who is breaching fiduciary duty, should be cause for concern. If you don’t know what you can do to put your best foot forward and bring a strong claim against someone who has broken the law, it’s a mistake to try and wait. If you wait too long, it will be harder to gather evidence and to show the court that you have the right amount of proof on your side to help you with what’s required to succeed in your case. An attorney is there to help you understand the elements of fraud in a clear manner for your own purposes.

This experience comes from a probate attorney in Philadelphia. A probate fraud lawyer in Philadelphia will evaluate the evidence you bring to the table and help you understand whether or not there are appropriate grounds to initiate probate fraud litigation. Probate fraud litigation is an issue when an interested party alleges there has been fraud at some point in the probate process. Probate begins when an executor submits to the surrogate or the register of the will and death certificate or when an interested party petitions the register or surrogate because no will exists. It is the responsibility of the person bringing forward this type of litigation to prove to the judge that fraud did occur. A judge can identify whether or not fraud took place only if the appropriate evidence is presented. You have to provide the judge evidence in the form of testimony and documents. Gathering this material requires expert witnesses, depositions, subpoenaed documents and evidence that is presented following the official rules of evidence. These are also subject to objections by the accused attorney. Expert witnesses might include accountants and other professionals who can help to clarify whether or not probate fraud did occur. There are several different types of probate fraud litigation, including administrator appointments, executor fraud, will contests, trustee removals, spousal elective share fraud, guardianship fraud, and agent under power of attorney removals. An interested party who identifies that fraud has already occurred can discuss with an estate litigation attorney what is involved in pulling together the necessary evidence. If a judge determines that this evidence is compelling, certain actions can be taken, such as the removal of a trustee. A formal accounting is one of the most helpful procedures when it comes to probate litigation because a probate lawyer can obtain the right to evidentiary discovery to prove the crime through the formal accounting process.

When an interested individual believes that a personal representative has overcharged an estate or committed fraud, the judge will allow through procedures and evidentiary rules the appropriate evidence and testimony to verify that the fees should indeed be returned. If you have already been affected by a situation like this, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney who is highly knowledgeable about the best way to protect the rights of those who are harmed because of another person's fraudulent activities.

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