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.
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.
This is a busy year for estate and trust mediation - the alternative dispute process in which the parties to a lawsuit meet with a neutral third-party, often a retired judge, in an effort to settle the case. Our litigation practice includes California's largest urban areas and so, not coincidentally, does our presence at mediations. While mediations can be dramatically different there are some constants - including strong emotions.
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.
We're nearing the end of the year and many thoughts come to mind of "all that has been." The press of year end business coupled with the magnificence of the Christmas season make December a very busy month. Whatever the press of business or the season's needs the most important part of our lives should not be forgotten. It is this sense of gratitude that we share.
Image Credit: Warner Brothers
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: