Most estate and trust disputes share common basic characteristics: a family feud, the misappropriation or outright theft of assets by a wrongdoer and a resulting unfair outcome for wronged beneficiaries. And while every family's circumstances make for a unique story, we are noticing an ever more frequent factor in many of these cases: elder financial abuse.
Elder financial abuse is a serious threat to the well-being of senior citizens and their loved ones in communities across California. It's a crime that is committed behind closed doors, often by family members or bad trustees, and it's chronically underreported at a rate of around just 5%. An elder can be robbed of his or her livelihood by a bad actor, which means that property and financial accounts in an estate or trust can be drained before anyone notices something has gone terribly wrong. We regularly see cases where the perpetrator will assume a caretaker role over the elderly victim, a typical method of exercising undue influence in order to amend a will or trust and disinherit other beneficiaries.
Although elder financial abuse is widespread, there is hope in the fight for a better future. Here in California, the law gives us new tools to combat financial exploitation and undue influence through the right to a jury trial. No longer confined to probate court, elder financial abuse claims can now be heard by a jury of your peers in civil court. That increases the likelihood of prosecuting predators and holding them accountable while also protecting seniors and attaining recovery.
At Hackard Law, we represent clients who need a fighting chance against wrongdoers who have hijacked an estate or trust. Whether it's Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego or Alameda and Contra Costa, our attorneys are on the cutting edge of estate litigation. We bring the battle straight to the opponent - we let them know loud and clear they won't get away with exploiting an elder and looting assets any longer. If you suspect a case of elder financial abuse, call us at Hackard Law: 916-313-3030. We'll be glad to speak with you.