Last week the influential wealth-management magazine ThinkAdvisor called me for an interview on a complex but important topic: why blended families are prone to estate and trust litigation, and why stepmothers often occupy a central role in these conflicts. This is a subject I've covered at length in my book The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse.
It was a privilege to speak with ThinkAdvisor's veteran writer Jane Wollman, who is already well-versed in ways financial advisors can safeguard the interests of seniors. In this interview, I also mentioned to Jane that about half of my current cases involve some type of dispute over an estate or trust between a stepmother and the genetic children of a deceased father. There's a number of reasons for that, most of which are rooted in the dynamics of blended families. In addition we discussed how new FINRA rules enable financial and investment advisors to better protect their elderly clients who may be entering cognitive decline with conditions like dementia or Alzheimer's.
I'd like to extend a big thank you to Jane for the interview and the opportunity to share important facts on blended families, estate battles, and undue influence. Elders need to be safe from exploitation, and the rights of beneficiaries must be respected. We believe in better, and so should you.