“Just one more thing...”
Do you remember that famous catchphrase from Lieutenant Columbo, played brilliantly by actor Peter Falk? He was one of the most important TV and movie stars of his day, and he inspired a generation of detective shows.
Falk lost an eye at the age of three because of a malignant tumor, and because of that disability, he was rejected from the armed services. He nevertheless joined the US Merchant Marines at the end of World War II and served as a cook and mess boy. He later applied for a job with the CIA but was rejected because he had joined a union while serving in the Merchant Marines. It wasn’t until he was 30 years old that he ultimately decided to pursue a career in acting.
Most people do not know [...]
If you have an elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s, you’ll know how important it is to look after their safety. It’s easy to worry. Maybe your parent or grandparent has left the stove on while cooking, unintentionally causing a fire hazard. Maybe they’ve wandered off in the neighborhood, only to be found and returned hours later by a good Samaritan. In the same way, a senior suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or Lewy body dementia is especially vulnerable to elder financial abuse.
Cognitive decline in the elderly affects all areas of their life, and that holds true for financial accounts, estates and trusts. There are unscrupulous predators who jump at the chance to take advantage of the elderly, the confused, the lonely. To mos[...]
Trust beneficiary mediations are emotional. Alzheimer’s, dementia, stepmothers, split families, undue influence and missing estate assets are threads that often run through the fabric of mediated estate and trust disputes. Passions run high. Feelings of betrayal mixed with grief are common to trust challengers and a protective belief of entitlement is common to the challenged.
We litigate estate and trust disputes where (1) we think that we can make a significant difference in the outcome and (2) where there is a defendant or respondent who can be made accountable and pay damages for wrongdoing. We often represent clients on a contingency fee basis in California’s major urban areas including Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Clara, San Mate[...]
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Millions of American families are dealing with its effects on the sufferer and those around him or her. Almost two-thirds of the 5 million plus Americans who have Alzheimer’s are women.
We represent both Alzheimer’s patients and their families in civil litigation against estate wrongdoers. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are responsible for the criminal prosecution of elder abuse and financial exploitation.
Our necessary focus on civil litigation provides us a perspective on the common elements that we see in elder financial abuse cases. This perspective starts with the recognition of how memory loss affects the Alzheimer’s victim.
Early-stage Alzheimer’s [...]
How many times in life do we falter because we or someone helping us fails to ask the right questions?
We’ve all heard, seen or experienced circumstances where friends or relatives suffered, maybe died, because someone responsible for their health failed to identify a safety or health problem.
They failed to ask the right questions.
I have my own experience with medical diagnosis and the right questions. Nearly 30 years ago I woke up at 3:00 in the morning with symptoms that mimicked a heart attack. My wife sprang into action, paramedics arrived, and I was soon on my way to an emergency room. Appropriate tests for heart disease and injury were accomplished. I came out well.
Maybe it was stress. We took more vacations, watched my diet [...]
An unexpectedly large number of people open safe deposit boxes, leave them alone for several years, and forget the box ever existed. According to the Sacramento Bee, the California State Controller’s Office had the contents of more than 138,000 safe deposit boxes under its control in 2017, including more than 75,000 US Savings Bonds worth more than $30 Million. Sometimes banks move, and sometimes box holders move, but the usual way in which boxes get forgotten is when someone dies.
While safe deposit boxes can, and usually do, serve a useful purpose of safeguarding valuables, you should know that they aren’t 100% safe. Take, for example, a 2007 case reported on a Consumer Reports blog. A woman’s aunt showed up at a Bank of America [...]
This is the biggest mediation year in our law firm’s history. The milestone is significant for our clients, their adversaries and all lawyers involved in the prosecution and defense of estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation.
Mediation is a reality in estate disputes that shouldn’t be ignored until the parties are on the courthouse steps awaiting a courtroom for trial. That said, it’s not unusual for a client to express doubts about entering into mediation. This is understandable.
Does our willingness to mediate telegraphs weakness? Good question – so, let’s look at the reality. Recent studies indicate that only about 1% of filed tort cases are actually tried in the federal courts. I’ve heard state court judges say [...]
Tony Curtis was a Hollywood icon, an actor who appeared in more than 100 films, a World War II veteran who served honorably in the Navy aboard a submarine, and an actor who was nominated for two Golden Globes, one Emmy and one Oscar. He was a major star who acted alongside Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon, and Kirk Douglas. He also starred with Marilyn Monroe in their hit 1959 comedy “Some Like It Hot.”
Despite his enormous success, his death was hastened by years of cigarette smoking, alcoholism, and cocaine addiction. When Curtis died in 2010 at the age of 85, he left behind a rich film legacy, 6 wives, 5 children, and 7 grandchildren. In a surprise to them, however, he left behind only one heir who inherited his $40 Mi[...]