We've all heard or said something like: "How would you like it if someone did the same thing to you?" It's a heartfelt question. It calls to mind our willingness to consider another viewpoint - to empathize.
I'm Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. I feel fortunate to represent abused beneficiaries seeking justice against trustees who appear to put their own financial interest over the beneficiaries they are duty bound to serve.
Atherton, our nation's most expensive ZIP code, is in the heart of the California Bay Area. Atherton's median price for a single-family home in the first half of 2019 was $8.1 million. Real estate agents and brokers who handle these sales have plenty of reason to celebrate when an escrow closes. While Atherton house values are setting records the rest of the Bay Area housing market also have significant values. Median home prices for June, 2019 were $1,549,000 (San Mateo), $1,250,000 (Santa Clara), $926,000 (Alameda), and $665,000 (Contra Costa). When it comes to estate and trust transfers these high house values have significant repercussions.
We've shared over 500 blog posts and YouTube videos with people interested in trust, estate, probate and elder financial abuse issues.
California law provides that both individual and corporate trustees are entitled to compensation for their services as trustee. Corporate trustees, sometimes referenced as professional trustees, are different than individuals - like an aunt or an uncle administering a trust.
It's been over 40 years since I first represented clients in a will contest. A lot has changed over the years in estate litigation on behalf of beneficiaries. We now have elder financial abuse laws that can be enforced in jury trials. These newer laws often supplement the rights and remedies available from probate courts and allow the prosecution of some claims in the civil trial courts.
"What is an Estate?" This question, while appearing simple on its face, generates a few other questions. The word is used in so many contexts - estate planning, estate trust, testate estate, intestate estate, estate accounts, estate homes, estate personal representatives, estate administrators and estate executors. So, let's start with its meaning within the context of a probate estate. An estate is testate if the person has a will at the time of death and intestate if the person died without a will.