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California Probate & Trust Litigation Blog

Fair and Equitable Distributions to Trust Beneficiaries | Shattered Expectations

Fair and Equitable Trust Beneficiary Distributions | Shattered ExpectationsTrust instruments are like a set of instructions. They can be like a clear day or a murky pond. A good set of instructions should be simple, readable and avoid legal jargon. The settlor, the maker of the trust, should work to clearly identify the beneficiaries of his trust, their form of interest (income or principal) and the timing and plan of distribution.

How Families Stop Elder Financial Abuse | Communication & Trust

How Families Stop Elder Financial Abuse | Trust & CommunicationElder financial abuse puts a senior's livelihood and well-being in jeopardy, and the problem isn't going away. If anything, the epidemic of exploitation against our elderly loved ones is only expanding, with Bloomberg recently estimating the annual losses across America at $37 billion. And this month Wells Fargo released its Elder Needs Survey, a study that interviewed 784 older Americans and 798 adult children of seniors. Its results help give us a fuller picture of how wrongdoers can find opportunities to perpetrate elder financial abuse, and how we can stop it or prevent it altogether.

Trustee Removal | Fraud & Undue Influence

Trustee Removal | Fraud & Undue InfluenceToday I was honored to lead a presentation for a Continuing Legal Education seminar on trustee removal. Along with co-presenters Robert Paine and Hackard Law's own Dave Jones, we delivered a comprehensive breakdown of the reasons for and tactics of removing bad trustees. Under California Probate Code 15642(b), there are nine clear reasons a trustee can be removed from administering a trust. These are the following:

International Issues for California Estate Litigation

2018-05-16 May B3-4 International Issues For California Estate Litigation.docx.jpgIn the current age of digital information and global business, many estates present complicated issues involving international law. A testator may execute a will in one country and eventually die in another. Different countries across the world may harbor assets. Different tax regulations, probate laws, and administrative regulations may apply in each of these countries.

Capacity & Undue Influence | CA Estate Litigation

Capacity Undue Influence CA Trust Litigation.jpgI listen to hundreds of stories every year. There are dozens of cases for every element of vulnerability. The stories surrounding each element often provide a foundation for the failure of an estate plan that someone tried to make bulletproof.

Exploring the Facts | Los Angeles Estate & Trust Litigation

Exploring the Facts | Los Angeles Estate & Trust LitigationI love my job. That's a good thing. There's an older Johns Hopkins study with a finding that lawyers were nearly 4 times as likely as non-lawyers to suffer from depression. That's really not a good statistic, and I hope that my colleagues with depression find assistance.

How to Protect Families from Elder Financial Abuse | CA Trust Litigation

Protecting Families from Elder Financial Abuse.jpgThe power and potency of California elder financial abuse litigation dramatically changed for the better a few years ago - to be exact January 1, 2014 - the date the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act became effective. It is one thing to have a robust new statute to protect elders and their families and it is another thing to enforce it. The California Legislature noted at the time of the law's passing that "cases of abuse of . . . (infirm elderly persons and dependent adults) are seldom prosecuted as criminal matters, and few civil cases are brought in connection with this abuse." It's 2018, and while the law has changed and become more forceful, it is my experience that these cases are still "seldom prosecuted as criminal matters" and "few civil cases are brought in connection with this abuse."

Elder Financial Abuse | "No One's Safe"

Mickey Rooney Elder Financial Abuse.jpgDo you remember Mickey Rooney, the lovable actor from the 1940's and 1950's who starred in some of the best classic films of all time such as National Velvet, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Requiem for a Heavyweight and Black Stallion?

Elder Abuse Affects Famous Californians, Too

2018-05-09 May B2-4 Elder Abuse Affects Famous Californians, Too.jpgElder abuse has become a more prominent issue in the United States. As the World War II and Baby Boomer generations age, the American population boasts more senior citizens than ever. These seniors are driving up the demand for estate planning services, healthcare services, assisted living facilities, and in-home care. Unfortunately, reliance on these service providers can also expose a senior citizen to the risk of abuse.

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