When you’re a beneficiary of a trust or the heir of an estate, you expect fair treatment – that your rights will be respected, and that everyone will receive their distributions according to an ordered plan. That is a reasonable expectation, but wrongdoers can still exploit system failures and hijack trust assets for their own benefit. I’ve seen it happen many times, and I’ve put a stop to it many times on behalf of clients whose beneficiary rights had been violated. These are high-stakes estate disputes, and nowhere are the stakes higher in California than in Santa Clara County.
Areas like Palo Alto, San Jose, Mountain View and Santa Clara are still heavyweights in the housing market. Right now the average home price is $1.26 million. For heirs and beneficiaries of estates and trusts, these figures matter because family wealth is so often tied into real property like the family home. When mayhem occurs, all bets are off. Maybe a bad trustee is abusing their position to spend money from the trust, or there may be a conflict between a stepmother and stepchildren over a house, financial accounts, or other assets. Elder financial abuse or undue influence might be suspected. These litigation fights are more common than you might think.
Pursuing a wrongdoer in Santa Clara County Superior Court and recovering your rightful inheritance can be expensive, especially when you need a trust litigation attorney with the skill and experience that give you a fighting chance. That’s why we work with a limited number of clients on a contingency fee basis – a contingency fee arrangement can provide the leverage necessary to turn the tables on an estate wrongdoer and get a probate or civil trial, a right under California law. If a case is successful, only then will we take our agreed share from the recovery. Our contingency agreements conform to all ethical and legal rules of the State Bar, and just as importantly, we make sure that they are mutually beneficial to the client and attorney. Simply put, contingency arrangements can be a powerful weapon in protecting client interests and holding bad actors accountable.
If you’re a trust beneficiary in Santa Clara County and you’ve had your rights violated, you can contact us and see if a contingency agreement makes sense for you. Hackard Law works throughout California – we take real-time measures to safeguard client interests. Call us today at 916-313-3030, and we’ll be glad to see how we can help you.