Disputing pre-death transactions

Disputing pre-death transactions

Sadly, it is not uncommon for elderly and vulnerable people to be financially abused by those they have entrusted to assist them. Before a person loses the ability to take care of their own affairs, they may appoint a person as their attorney (using a document known as an Enduring Power of Attorney) or informally give them access to their bank account. 

In some cases, an attorney might engage in transactions which are not in the best interests of the deceased (like using the deceased’s funds for their own personal expenses or giving substantial gifts to family members). It is common for this to only be discovered after the deceased’s death.

In these instances, the estate, or its beneficiaries may have a claim against the attorney for these monies to be reimbursed to the estate.

You should obtain legal advice as soon as possible. We can give you preliminary advice at an initial consultation.

Recent cases

We acted for an executor of his mother’s estate. He discovered his sister had over several years misappropriated over $500,000 from her mother, leaving only a small sum left in the estate. We brought an action against the sister and successfully recovered most of the money.

Inheritance disputes

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    Our plain-English guide How to manage a deceased estate has practical advice to help you to take charge and finalise the estate.