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How forensic accounting can help during probate administration

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2022 | Estate Planning

Estate administration involves reviewing someone’s situation when they die and fulfilling their unmet obligations. Often, people leave behind detailed estate plans explaining their preferences related to the distribution of their property after their deaths.

No matter how detailed someone tries to be when making such plans, there is always a risk that family members or beneficiaries of the estate will challenge someone’s last wishes in probate court. Some challenges are the result of people who suspect misconduct during the estate planning process, such as fraud or undue influence.

Other times, the concerns that lead to litigation relate largely to the behaviors of the executor or personal representative of the estate. Sometimes, when family members and beneficiaries suspect misconduct on the part of an estate representative, it becomes necessary to bring in outside help. A forensic accountant can play an important role in addressing concerns about estate administration.

What does a forensic accountant do?

It could be very difficult to review complicated financial records, such as the documents created while paying off debts and distributing assets on behalf of an estate. The average adult would have a very hard time determining if there is evidence of financial misconduct or not when reviewing financial records.

Forensic accountants have both the professional experience and appropriate training to perform a detailed, careful analysis of the financial records from the last years of someone’s life and the early stages all the state administration. They can look for unreasonably high charges or resources that disappear without explanation. They will be uniquely capable of tracking down dissipated funds, identifying signs of financial misconduct and determining where someone may have transferred certain resources.

Forensic accountants can both help you prove misconduct on the part of an executor or trustee and determine the true Financial impact of their behavior. It will be very difficult for the average individual to validate their suspicions of estate theft or fraud without professional help. Having the right help will make it easier for you to pursue probate litigation related to an executor’s misconduct.