As 2017 comes to a close, it's time for us at Hackard Law to peer into the future. What will 2018 look like for estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation in California?
Let's start off with noting that good predictions are like educated guesses. Far from every prediction comes true, of course, and some end up wildly inaccurate. Take the case of Decca Records. When the record company's executives had a chance to sign a band called the Beatles in 1962, they responded:
"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."
Guitar music was far from being on the way out, and Decca missed the opportunity of a lifetime with the Beatles. We wish other predictions had come true, such as when J. Elfreth Watkins, curator of the Smithsonian Museum, predicted in 1900 that a century later we'd all be eating big, juicy strawberries the size of apples.
So what about the future of California estate and trust litigation? All indicators point to an expansion of the field. First off, the population of senior citizens will continue to grow - every day 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65. With that will come the inevitable estate and trust disputes, will contests and probate battles that arise out of an enormous transfer of wealth from one generation to the next. In addition elder financial abuse will stay in the headlines as a nationwide epidemic that effects our communities and ends up in our courtrooms.
Another major challenge for 2018 will be wrongdoing by guardians or conservators against elderly victims to hijack estate and trust assets. This form of exploitation has become so common that the US Senate introduced new legal protections to stop the abuse of guardianships. And that bill was signed into law by our president in October of this year. Expect further civil lawsuits to reach the courts as plaintiff attorneys seek to protect family fortunes from breach of fiduciary duty.
If you're facing challenges with an abuse or guardianship or beneficiary rights, you can contact us at Hackard Law. It's our mission to safeguard client estate and trust interests across California, from Los Angeles and Sacramento to Alameda, Santa Clara, and Riverside counties. Call us today at 916-313-3030. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.