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.
Home equity in Bay Area houses constitutes the largest share of household wealth. Older people, a large part of owner-occupied units, are more likely to have spouses and dual incomes. And, they simply have had more time to accumulate wealth.
Your parents owned a business and real estate. They successfully managed the business for decades and built up family assets. They put these assets into a trust where they remained as trustees during their lifetime. When they passed away, successor trustees took over. The successor trustees, through incompetence or even wrongdoing, are damaging your family's economic heritage. They are failing to keep trust property separate and identified, they lack complete and accurate financial records, they are self-dealing, and they are failing to comply with California's requirements for serving as trustees.
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Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) is a diagnosis assigned to individuals who habitually violate the rights of others without remorse (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5®), Fifth Edition). In estate, trust and probate litigation, it's an unfortunate fact that people who exhibit signs of this diagnosis, commonly known as sociopaths, are often the cause of estate disputes. DSM-5® lists one of the primary elements of diagnosis as disregard for and violation of others rights as indicated by one or more of seven elements. The seven elements are: