Attorney Stealing from Clients’ Estates

Attorneys are supposed to work for their clients. However, one attorney in Staten Island is accused over stealing from the estates of people whose families had hired him to oversee those estates.

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When an attorney is hired to shepherd an estate through probate, it is expected that the attorney will act in the best interests of the estate, right? Clearly, the attorney should attend to any matters in a professional manner and make sure that the proceeds of the estate are distributed appropriately.

After all, this is the basic foundation of trust clients place in their attorneys.

Against this backdrop, we find the unfortunate case of attorney Robert DePalma of Staten Island. It seems attorney DePalma has been charged with embezzling funds from estates he was hired to oversee to the tune of approximately $700,000.

SIlive has the full story in an article titled “Staten Island attorney accused of embezzling $700,000 from his clients.”

This is quite obviously a very serious matter.

If convicted, DePalma could (and should) see time in prison.

The good news is that the overwhelming majority of estate attorneys are honest and do not steal from their clients. Make sure you check out the reputation and integrity of any attorney before engaging his or her estate planning services.

Two independent attorney rating services are available online at www.avvo.com and www.lawyers.com.

Please contact our office today at 239-225-7911 to schedule an appointment with Barbara M. Pizzolato if you are interested in protecting your legacy and need to create or update your estate plan. You may also wish to attend one of our free seminars.

Reference: SIlive (December 26, 2014) “Staten Island attorney accused of embezzling $700,000 from his clients”

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