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My mom stole my inheritance in California, what can I do?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | PROBATE

Losing a loved one is a difficult experience. Unfortunately, those emotions can be compounded if you suspect foul play regarding your inheritance.

Suppose you believe your mother, or someone else, stole your inheritance in California. In that case, you’ll want to understand the potential courses of action you can take to recover what was rightfully yours in the first place.

What is inheritance theft?

Inheritance theft can occur in various ways. It might involve manipulating the will or trust, taking assets without authorization or mismanaging the estate funds. State law takes inheritance rights seriously, and there are options available if you believe you’ve been wronged.

Steps you can take to recover your inheritance

The most important thing to do when you discover inheritance theft is to gather any evidence you can get your hands on. Collect copies of the will, trust documents (if applicable) and any financial statements related to the estate. Having access to these crucial documents can enable you to look for inconsistencies or suspicious transactions.

It’s equally crucial to consult with a trusted legal representative who can help make sense of the evidence you’ve collected. Probate law can be complex, and on your own, you might miss crucial cues that might help your case. An experienced representative can meticulously review your case and advise you on the best course of action.

You have the option of contesting the will or trust if you discover that either or both or them are invalid. A trust or will may be invalid if:

  • It was forged
  • It was influenced by undue pressure
  • It doesn’t reflect the deceased’s true wishes
  • It was not filed in probate court

Remember, you can also sue for breach of fiduciary duty if the will executor or trust trustee mismanaged your funds or took your assets for their personal gain.

Important considerations

The state’s probate code has a deadline for contesting a will or taking legal action. So, don’t delay seeking legal guidance, as a legal representative can help you expedite the process. It’s also crucial to acknowledge that litigation can be expensive, and suing your mother can further damage the relationship you have with them.

Losing an inheritance due to theft can be devastating. Luckily, California law provides options to fight for what’s rightfully yours. Remember, consulting with a qualified legal team is going to be important as you move forward. They can assess your case, navigate the legalities and help you recover your inheritance while considering your unique situation’s emotional and financial implications.