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Undue Influence in Estate Litigation: 2016 Trends

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Over the last year, we've noticed the increasing incidence of undue influence cases in estate litigation. We expect that this trend will continue to expand the number of litigated undue influence cases as well as accelerate the shift of many cases from the probate to the civil courts.

Undue Influence Litigation is Disrupting Conventional Probate Litigation

In 2014 California established a groundbreaking new law incorporating medical knowledge into the statutory definition of undue influence. The law is disrupting some conventional approaches to estate litigation. The availability of juries, punitive damages, and attorney's fees in civil courts are all pushing financial elder abuse cases from the probate to the civil court system.

We've been active in applying the new law in the Superior Courts of Sacramento, El Dorado, Sonoma, Placer, Solano and San Diego.

The Need for Experts in Undue Influence Litigation is Growing

The need to prove a victim's vulnerability, evidence of which may include incapacity, disability, impaired cognitive function or dependency will often become the province of an expert. California law allows an expert to state opinions about matters in his or her field of expertise even if he or she has not witnessed any of the events involved in the trial. Experts will often base their opinions on record reviews, witness interviews and sources of accepted authority.

The Expanded Definition of Undue Influence Will Continue to Make Waves

Favorable results, expanded availability of experts and increasing experience in the application of the law will make Hackard Law's background in civil litigation advantageous in probate, trust and estate litigation.

At Hackard Law we aim to be a thought leader in undue influence litigation. Our law firm's extensive experience and ability to cut through clutter make a difference in serving California's aging population in litigated estate matters.

You can't afford to overlook the significant impact of undue influence in your probate, estate or trust case, so don't hesitate to call us. Protecting clients is our top priority. You can reach us at 916-313-3030.

Find us at:

Hackard Law

10630 Mather Blvd.

Mather, CA 95655

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