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Oregon realtor faces theft charges in elder's death

Estate planners prepare legally acceptable contracts that ensure that the wills of elders are enforced appropriately and without issues. Any hint of abuse or misuse on the part of the trustee will be closely scrutinized and could lead to a federal theft charge against the trustee of the estate or the person's caregiver. However, probate court is established to inspect these provisions prior to finalizing the document. If the court finds it to be unsuitable and unacceptable, it has exclusive powers to reject it.

This argument could be made for one Oregon realtor who has been charged with criminal mistreatment and aggravated theft. The realtor, who was allegedly involved in a voluntary assisted suicide, is being sued by the state, which alleges that the woman took custody of a dependent elderly person for the purpose of committing fraud.

According to sources, the elderly man with ALS moved into the realtor's residence after naming her as his estate's trustee and deeding his home to her in a revocable trust. He died by means of assisted suicide during the same month. Two days later, the woman listed the elderly man's property for sale. The proceeds from the sale were deposited into three companies, which she owns with her husband.

In Oregon, the law allows assisted suicide and there are provisions that protect those who assist with the suicide, freeing them from any claims of abuse. There are also no legal restrictions in naming an estate trustee.

Charges of mistreatment, fraud and theft could have very serious consequences. Those accused of a federal crime like this should consider consulting with a legal professional who has experience and knowledge in that particular area of the law. A legal professional can advise the person about how to proceed and which documents to file.

Source: LifeNews.com, "Oregon Woman Charged Over Profiting From Man's Assisted Suicide," Alex Schadenberg, April 4, 2013

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