How to Prosecute Someone for Stealing From Probate

••• Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Step 1

Make copies of all the evidence. Get a copy of the will and other documents filed with the probate court. Make copies of any letters or financial statements sent to you and other victims by the executor.

Step 2

Decide if you want a criminal prosecution or a civil prosecution. If you file criminal charges, the executor of the estate may end up going to jail. If you file a civil lawsuit, the executor may be required to pay back some of the stolen assets.

Step 3

Take your evidence to the police department and to the district attorney's office if you decide to file criminal charges. Sign a complaint against the person you believe is stealing from the estate. Keep in mind that many prosecutors are unwilling to prosecute estate-fraud cases, especially when the executor is a family member of the deceased.

Step 4

Hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit if you decide to prosecute the matter in civil court. Choose a lawyer who specializes in probate matters. Keep in mind that even if you win the lawsuit, you won't get any money if the executor has no assets and has already spent the stolen money.


About the Author

Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images