When news stories seem to come out clustered around one topic, it makes it apparent that we need to talk about it. Just over the last couple of weeks, I have seen news reports or documentaries about family disputes and in both situations there were step-parents, siblings and step-siblings at odds with each other about the care of an elderly parent and their subsequent estate.
International Investigators is familiar with these situations. Sometimes a widow or widower is aging and becomes unable to handle their financial or medical care. One of the children is given power of attorney and siblings or other relatives suspect them of mismanaging funds and perhaps even the medical and daily care of the subject.
Others in the family suspect they are milking assets and not sharing. Often we get a call from an attorney representing these other family members asking for an asset investigation. International Investigators provides information about what the person with the power of attorney is doing. One of the big questions is often whether or not they are siphoning off money into their personal accounts. An asset search investigator knows how to find answers to that question.
Money is not necessarily tucked away in unknown bank accounts, but in stock accounts or other asset accounts already established and known. That doesn’t mean we don’t locate hidden money or hidden bank accounts. The question to be answered is whether or not the person is taking assets or moving assets and that’s the question we answer.
Another big question that is often asked is whether the person with the power of attorney is trying to poison the feelings against other family members. Is there an attempt to get the person under their care to change their will or sign an amendment to the will?
We provide the attorney with any evidence of covert actions. If the search for assets indicates movement of assets from the original owner to the person with the power of attorney, the attorney gets that information. He can then obtain a court order allowing us to complete a computer forensics analysis on the person’s computer. We can extract data from the computer to identify misappropriation of funds or additional clues to build evidence of fraud.
Family disputes are emotionally-charged circumstances, but an investigator is an outside third party who can bring an objective perspective to the situation.
-T. Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators
-B. McGinley, Director of Operations, International Investigators