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Concerns over estate crime may lead to probate litigation

Most New York residents want to settle their loved ones' final affairs as easily as possible. However, that is not always how such scenarios work out. In fact, concerns could arise regarding whether the deceased person suffered abuses that diminished the estate or otherwise resulted in a distribution of property that the decedent did not intend, which could lead to probate litigation.

Though many issues could result in individuals facing conflict over an estate, Alzheimer's disease, estate crime and widowed stepmothers are considered common causes. Unfortunately, estate crime can take place while a person is still alive and involves someone or multiple individuals taking property from the estate. As a result, when the time for distributing assets comes, surviving loved ones may find that money is missing, personal items have been taken or a number of other ghastly outcomes have occurred.

In particular, estate crime and other dishonest acts could take place if a person suffers from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. He or she does not have the same cognitive sharpness as in younger years and may not understand when a caretaker, family member or another party may be taking advantage of him or her. This type of scenario is also not uncommon and can especially affect individuals with substantial assets, including celebrities.

Celebrity or not, having someone else take advantage of a loved one is a difficult ordeal to face, even after the loved one has passed. If New York residents believe that they have reason to contest the information in a will or that other concerns have arisen, they may want to consider probate litigation. Legal action may help ensure that the situation is examined closely and that concerns are heard and addressed.

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