Imagine you're out driving in an open area on a beautiful, clear day. You can see as far as the tree line on the horizon. Suddenly, off in the field to your right you spot someone in the distance - it's an old man in tattered clothes. He's limping slowly and looks to be in pain; he's suffering. And then, in the sky above, you notice something extraordinary - there's vultures circling, just like in the old cartoons we used to watch. Would you stop and help the old man? Maybe bring him some water and call for medical help? You wouldn't let the vultures swoop down.
Sibling battles have been immortalized in fact, fiction, film - and unfortunately, in thousands of court dockets. It's said that when the second child shows up on the family scene that the classic tug of war for parental attention begins. More siblings - more tug-of-wars, more shifting alliances and more life stories.
Unless you're from Santa Barbara, you may not know the name Huguette Clark. She was the reclusive heiress to a $300 million copper and railroad fortune amassed by her father, W.A. Clark, a former US Senator from Montana who also held the distinction of being the founder of the city of Las Vegas. When Clark died in 2011 at the age of 104, she created by will the Bellosguardo Foundation, whose purpose was to foster the arts by displaying her art collection at her massive $85 million, 23 ½ acre summer home in Santa Barbara.
It looks like the long estate battle between 95-year-old billionaire Viacom owner Sumner Redstone and his former live-in girlfriend Manuela Herzer has finally come to an end. Yesterday the two sides reached a settlement agreement, and just in time - the parties were about to enter into a second round of litigation over Herzer being removed from Redstone's will in 2015.
You may not be a country music fan, but even if you're not you can probably appreciate Johnny Cash's tongue in cheek rendition of "I've Been Everywhere."
At times I think that we at Hackard Law have a bird's-eye view of California trust litigation. Our perspective is gained from both the cases that we take and don't take.
It's now 2019, and here at Hackard Law we are grateful for new challenges and new opportunities. 2018 was a year that kept us very busy - week in and week out, our attorneys fanned out across California to protect the beneficiary rights of clients in estate and trust litigation. Wherever possible, we'd seek a path to mediation as a way to pursue the client's best interests and minimize conflict. We've also been more active than ever in taking on perpetrators of elder financial abuse and holding them accountable in civil court.
Imagine taking a call one morning from your recently widowed mother to learn of her professed love for a Florida man whom she has never met in person.