Among California's several high-stakes estate and trust litigation law firms, Hackard Law is one of the leaders. When estate and trust beneficiaries have high stakes in litigated disputes, they have a major interest in its outcome. There are no magic bullets in estate litigation - there are processes and knowledge-based strategies that can improve outcomes - but the risks of litigation always exist.
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.
Recently I spoke with reporter Anya Kamenetz of the Chicago Tribune. She had contacted me for my thoughts on the rising challenge of elder financial abuse in America, and how we can spot the warning signs, something I've written about in-depth in my book The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse. Anya begins her article with a story from a reader. It describes a textbook potential case of undue influence: an elderly divorced man has a new younger girlfriend with designs on his estate assets originally intended for his children. Unfortunately these stories are increasingly common, which means family members need to be alert for signs of exploitation.
Yesterday I had the privilege of joining Cyrus Webb on Conversations LIVE, a radio show that is also broadcast on podcast platforms like iTunes and IHeartRadio. Working out of Mississippi, Cyrus enjoys nationwide reach with his program and covers a variety of topics, including media, entertainment, and the arts. A professed bibliophile, Cyrus is a passionate reader, and I'm glad he chose my book, The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse, as the main topic of discussion.
It's heartwarming that several of America's major online financial media networks have quoted from my book, The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse. The latest story comes from TheStreet.com, one of our country's leading online financial websites. Brian O'Connell, a business/finance writer, who regularly covers business news and trends, particularly in the financial, health, internet and technology sectors, wrote an interesting article, "My Stepmother Stole My Inheritance."
I was pleased yesterday to join Drew Mariani of Relevant Radio, part of America's largest Catholic radio network, for a discussion on my book The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse. We covered the basic points of how to safeguard elderly family members from exploitation, a challenge that will only grow in the years ahead as more and more Baby Boomers become senior citizens. That paves the way for the greatest generational transfer of wealth - an estimated $30 trillion - we've ever seen.
It's fun for me to reflect upon some of the funny things and experiences that I've encountered over the years. My memory of some real-world events only permits to share the essence of the experiences. I've changed identifying details to protect both privacy and attorney client confidences. Given the changes, any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
I was recently welcomed back as a guest on The Steve Pomeranz Show, hosted by nationally recognized investment advisor Steve Pomeranz. Steve has made his program a fantastic resource for wealth planning, financial literacy, and smart allocation of assets in a volatile economy. It's therefore an honor to return to Steve's show and discuss a serious danger to seniors: elder financial abuse and undue influence.