A Los Angeles relative, caretaker or trustee must never financially endanger a Will or Trust maker or the maker's heirs or beneficiaries. An Executor or Trustee must prevent, remedy or guard against conditions that financially endanger a Will or Trust maker.
California Trust, Estate and Probate Rules are enforced in our state's Superior Courts - including the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Such rules are designed to provide an orderly and safe process for inheritance by heirs and beneficiaries from the makers of Wills and Trusts. Some of these rules address the incapacity of the Will or Trust maker and other rules address coercive elder financial abuse. Such prohibited acts consist of the use of excessive persuasion upon a vulnerable elder that overcomes the elder's free will in the disposition of his estate.
Prospective clients often describe their cases to us as a mess or incredibly complicated. We nearly always start with "tell us your story." After listening for a while, we can focus on the time the first act of wrongdoing occurs. Did it occur with a transfer of the elder's real or personal property? Did it occur with the abuse of an elder's durable power of attorney? Did it occur with the creation of a Will or Trust that disproportionately benefitted an abuser over the decedent's natural heirs?
Our experience in representing California heirs and beneficiaries in probate and civil litigation provides a wide perspective. When I began the practice of law in 1976, senior citizens were less protected from elder financial abuse. The years have brought some good changes, and the ability to protect clients from wrongdoers has improved.
We benefit from a number of organizations that provide courses, communications and community. My memberships include: the State Bar of California, Trust & Estates Section; Los Angeles County Bar Association, Trusts & Estate Section; Orange County Bar Association, Trusts & Estates Law Section; and the Sacramento County Bar Association, Probate and Estate Planning Section.
Experience is a great teacher. Our experience includes representing clients in litigation over creditors' claims, elder financial abuse, fraud, incapacity, probate, trusts and trust amendments and will and codicil challenges.
Actions against errant Executors and Trustees include numerous petitions and civil complaints involving the appointment of independent fiduciaries, successor trustees, accountings, and prohibitions of the use of trust funds to defend wrongful acts. Executors, former executors, trustees or former trustees are sometimes sued for damages in order to repay the Estate or Trust (Surcharge) for wrongdoing.
Hackard Law is effective in matters involving amounts in controversy of more than $1 million. That said there are many viable cases with less at stake. Our law firm helps abused heirs and beneficiaries with trust litigation and mediation throughout Northern and Southern California, including Los Angeles. We will accept a few dozen cases per year on a contingency fee basis. Call us at Hackard Law to see whether your case might qualify. Our number is: 916-313-3030. We look forward to speaking with you.