Executor was given possession of funds and has gone into “hiding.” In process of having him removed as executor, but what legal recourse do the other beneficiaries have if the money is gone? What and how can charges be brought against this individual?

Your question is a difficult one. Each state is different, however generally, the Personal Representative ( executor) of the estate is held to a very high standard. The standard is one of fiduciary liability, and the executor may be criminally and civilly liable for his actions. Unfortunately, if the money has been spent and this individual has no other resources, the money may be gone for good.

I would recommend that after the old executor is removed and the new one appointed, the new executor needs to take control of whatever resources are left. I would then ask the attorney for the estate about the process for filing criminal embezzlement charges against the old executor. The decision of whether or not to prosecute on a criminal basis, is generally made by the district attorney in the county of the probate. You might also be able to go against the personal representative under a civil suit, as a breach of his fiduciay responsiblities, whether or not the district attorney’s office is helpful. In addition, in the event of credit card fraud, the secret service may also be helpful.

Finally, the state of Ohio may have other remedies. The estate attorney should know about any other remedies.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

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