“Inheritance hijacking” sounds like quite a dramatic phrase — and the consequences of it can be equally drama-filled and damaging to victims. Let’s take a closer look what this term means, and what those who are affected should do to protect themselves.
Inheritance Hijacking Defined
Inheritance hijacking can be simply defined as inheritance theft — when a person steals what was intended to be left to another party. This phenomenon can manifest in a variety of ways, including the following:
- Someone exerts undue influence over a person and convinces them to name them an heir. For example, a caregiver might exert undue influence over an elderly person with memory issues.
- If someone pressures an estate holder to make them an heir, it may result in inheritance theft.
- Theft or document forgery, changing the nature of a will.
- A marriage made under false pretenses to allow someone to financially benefit from the estate holder’s passing.
- Abuse of power of attorney authority to misuse the estate holder’s assets.
How to Avoid Becoming a Victim
To avoid such a scenario, it’s important to closely monitor loved ones for any hint of impropriety, whether financial or personal in nature. Diligence and vigilance in this regard is the best way to catch improper behavior early.
It’s also important to check bank records, tax statements, investment account withdrawals and other financial documents to help ensure that nothing is amiss. Finally, if you believe that theft is occurring (or the groundwork is being laid) it’s important to call an experienced local attorney.
Brickley Law has that experience. If you’ve been victimized by inheritance hijacking, we urge you to call for a free consultation today. We’ll handle your case with the utmost sensitivity, and help protect you from financial misbehavior.