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The Wolf at the Door: Ep. 23 | Assessing a Potential Trust Lawsuit

The Wolf at the Door: Ep. 23 | Assessing a Trust LawsuitHello, I'm Mike Hackard. I'm the chair of Hackard Law, a law firm focusing on estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation in California's major urban areas. I'm the author of The Wolf at The Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse. The book is now available for order on Amazon. This is episode 23, where I discuss reviewing a potential case of elder financial abuse or other wrongdoing over a trust or estate.

My process of intake is straightforward. Once I've received a call or email from a prospective client or referral attorney, I'll have my legal team gather the facts. These include estate, trust, and probate documents, texts and email communications, and basic timelines for an initial review. If I decide to take the case, we will then focus on the wrongdoer and his actions. My top priority is to prevent any further violations of beneficiary rights and protect the client's interests.

If the wrongdoer doesn't have an attorney, my firm will contact him, explain our role representing the plaintiff, and many times suggests a solution. If he has representation, then I'll go over the same ground with his lawyer. The courts prefer early mediation to litigation over a disputed estate or trust, but delay is unacceptable - it's important to begin a process toward resolution as soon as possible.

The defendant's choice to delay comes with expensive consequences. Civil lawsuits, if appropriate, are filed against the trust wrongdoer. That generally means the right to a jury trial, assessment of attorney's fees, and the possible awarding of punitive damages. In these cases a wrongdoer's delay has not helped him or her. We take our duty to protect clients and their trust beneficiary rights seriously, and we act accordingly.

If you would like a free digital copy of the book when it comes out, email us at hackard@hackardlaw.com. I'm happy to share this book on this very important topic.

The Wolf at the Door: Ep. 23 | Assessing a Potential Trust Lawsuit from Hackard Law on Vimeo.

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