A spouse or child who is omitted from a will may have the legal right to choose an elective share of the estate. California law provides for these family members to ensure that a will does not accidentally exclude them from important property rights. The experienced Los Angeles estate attorneys at Hackard Law focus on estate law. Their skills may protect omitted family members and enforce their legal rights.
What Is a Pretermitted Heir?
A pretermitted heir is one who was omitted from a will. Spouses and children, for example, have the right to inherit even when a will does not specifically mention them, because California—like other states—has adopted statutes that protect them. Section 21610 of the California Probate Code allows [...]
Vacation homes are about people and places. We have fond memories of friends and family in places often visited. So, when we speak of vacation homes, we know that they are more than just bricks and mortar. They are family history – a chronology of our lives.
When it comes to estate planning for these properties, we need to give more than passing attention. I know – we do estate and trust litigation, and we’ve seen the multiple ways that vacation homes can challenge estate and trust administration. I’ll give a few of them. Identifying facts have been changed to protect the privacy of the participants.
A loving dad’s Monterey-area vacation home was in his trust at the time of his death. The dad, the settlor of the trust, direc[...]
Elder financial abuse and exploitation make for a silent epidemic of crime across America, and the phenomenon is only growing in scale. According to research conducted the watchdog National Adult Protective Services Association, one in twenty seniors have reported elder financial abuse in the recent past. And the damage to our national economy from elder financial abuse is estimated at anywhere from $3 billion to $36 billion per year, a figure that can only cause alarm. As the population of senior citizens in our country continues to grow, so too will the challenge posed by fraudsters who want to prey on our elderly and steal their money.
To help seniors and their loved ones identify and avoid scams, we’ve compiled a list of the most c[...]
The California administration and distribution of estate assets can raise many questions. And, families faced with these questions seek answers. Wills, trusts, insurance policies, bank accounts and securities are subject to different laws.
This video is about intestate estates, those where the person has died without a will. I’ll use this fictionalized account to explain how intestate heirs may divide estate assets by agreement.
Mom, a widow, dies without a will. At the time of her death, Mom owns a Castro Valley house in Alameda County. The house is titled solely in her name. The house is free and clear of a mortgage. It is valued at $840,000.
Mom also has $700,000 in a Fremont Bank savings account. The bank account is in Mom’[...]
Respect for elders is a basic foundation of many cultures and religions. Its neglect or absence is traumatic and disheartening to both societies and families.
No doubt, aging brains bring many challenges to elders, their families, and caregivers.
Responding to the challenges can be awkward. Functional decline, dementia, and depression can make communication difficult. They can also make abuse, neglect and financial exploitation more likely.
I share these thoughts from experience in representing elders and their families who’ve suffered financial elder abuse. Sometimes it’s too late for us to do something about it. Sometimes we catch it just in time.
Whether the wrongful act is done, in process, or not yet started, we need to[...]
Disinherited Alameda County estate & trust heirs and beneficiaries suffer most when the asset taken is the family home.
Alameda County owner-occupied homes are valuable – now with a median price of over $875,000.00. They’re a natural target for estate & trust wrongdoers.
And, there’s lots of them – over 325,000 owner-occupied houses in the county. So, when houses are taken from an elder by undue influence or fraud, the stakes are high.
Questioned transfers are not limited to those made while the elder is alive. Finding evidence of the transfers may occur while the elder is still living. But more often than not, the illicit transfers are detected after the elder’s death.
Such transfers might be revealed in a tit[...]
Language is powerful. It can ignite wars. It can heal wounds. It can hide harm. It can redeem wrongs. And, it can save lives.
That’s what I want to talk about today. Women, 65 and older, outnumber men of the same age.
Almost half of older women, age 75 and over, live alone. They are a target class for elder financial exploitation – for financial elder abuse.
Lawmakers, law enforcement, news organizations and educational institutions are increasingly taking measures to inform us of the multiple ways that seniors are scammed. Family members, neighbors, adult protective services and other professionals can all assist in protecting older women, this targeted class.
We all have a dog in this fight. I wrote The Wolf at the Door: U[...]
I’m not the story here. The story is about American families - and, their homes. Ben Harper wrote,
“A house is a home
even when we’ve up and gone
even when you’re there alone
a house is a home.”
The feeling for home runs deep. Family home memories are passed on to us. I’m a custodian of memory for several of my family’s homes. I’ve visited my great grandmother’s Irish home – a home she departed when only 15 to sail for America. We had cake and an Irish whiskey at the nearby home where her mother, my great-great grandmother, died.
My father took me to his boyhood Wyoming home. He pointed to the window where a lightning bolt once struck in a prairie thunderstorm. He showed me the room where his grandfather sl[...]