Dallas Lawyers Dealing With Disputes Over Gifts In A Texas Probate

Misappropriation of assets by a trusted family member, friend, or other agent is all too common prior to one’s passing. It is unfortunate that caregivers, relatives, trustees, executors, and those with a power of attorney sometimes find a way to transfer property to themselves. Such activity can often be discovered in the form of missing assets, emptied bank accounts, or property having been otherwise transferred to another. This can leave the heirs of a deceased feeling powerless and wondering what to do. Our Dallas probate litigation lawyers assist with beneficiary fraud and transfer disputes such as these. If you are a Texas resident and are facing such a situation, then contact our attorneys today.

old woman giving gift

Texas attorneys disputing “gifts” which were the result of a power of attorney abuse

People often provide a financial power of attorney to relatives or caretakers during later stages of life. This is done so a third-party may assist with paying bills and otherwise managing finances. Unfortunately, such powers of attorney are sometimes abused. The person wielding the checkbook then “gifts” substantial money and or property to themselves. This results in assets, which should have gone to one’s heirs, instead being taken by a person who abused the decedent’s trust and confidence.

Judge on the bench

Consider the following example. Prior to her death, an elderly woman appointed her neighbor as her power of attorney for financial affairs to assist her with bill paying and other normal banking activities. The power of attorney document granted broad powers to the neighbor to act on her behalf. After the elderly woman dies, her family is surprised to learn that her home, which should have comprised the bulk of her estate, had previously been transferred to the neighbor. They also realize that their mother’s bank account balances are much lower than expected and discover various transfers from the accounts to the neighbor. The neighbor claims that the house and funds were gifts from the deceased woman. Her children suspect that the neighbor acted without their mother’s permission and abused her position as power of attorney when transferring the property. To protect their mother’s estate and attempt to restore their mother’s property, the family must initiate legal action as soon as possible.

Fortunately, through probate litigation, such fraudulent transfers can possibly be undone. Gift disputes in a Texas probate will typically be presented to a Probate Court. A significant part of the process is to gather all necessary evidence showing that the property transfers were not intended as “gifts.” This evidence can take the form of bank records, correspondence, phone records, and witness testimony. We will assist you in gathering the information you have access to while also obtaining information from third parties. Presenting this information to the Judge and jury in a concise and understandable manner is crucial. If you are facing such a situation then you should contact an attorney immediately.

Our Dallas lawyers aggressively protect those disputing the misappropriation of assets through a power of attorney arrangement. We will use the process to work for a fair resolution. Once retained, we will acquire all relevant bank statements, account records, emails, letters, etc. in order to establish what the boundaries of any arrangement were meant to be. If funds or assets were transferred against the intent of the decedent then we will take steps to have any fraudulent transfers reversed. We will keep you informed each step of the way and promptly respond to your communications. We understand that this is a trying time for you. Contact our Dallas office today if you are a Texas resident who wishes to dispute a gift which is at issue during a probate proceeding.

power of attorney with gavel

Dallas lawyers assisting with other fraudulent transfers when litigating a Texas probate

pointing at document

There are other issues besides powers of attorneys that can lead to the wrongful transfer of assets. Mistakes may be made regarding a joint account. There may have been a breach of fiduciary duty. Regardless of the situation, we can help. Price L. Johnson is a CPA as well as an attorney. This background gives our firm the skills necessary to track financial assets which have been wrongfully transferred. We will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the options available to you and your family. Contact our Dallas office today to speak with a probate litigation lawyer. Our office also services Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Denton, Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, and Center.