If a personal representative of an estate hides or absconds with any assets, is it criminal or just subject to contempt of court?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If a personal representative of an estate hides or absconds with any assets, is it criminal or just subject to contempt of court?

A deceased man’s some was made PR personal representative of the estate. Not

much in value. Home and personal possessions, $30,000 after sale of house

before creditors are paid. PR does not get along or speak with 2 other siblings. No assets have been shared, the PR has left the property and moved to an unknown apartment and took the home possessions with him.

Asked on October 19, 2018 under Estate Planning, Nebraska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is criminal: a personal representative may manage the estate's assets but they do not belong to him; they belong to the estate. If the PR took estate's assets, he therefore stole them from the estate, and stealing from the estate is as much a scrime as stealing from a person, business, trust, etc. A police report can be filed and you can look to press charges.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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