Trust Litigation Scenarios | Part 1
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. Do you ever ask yourself about a particular situation, “What if things had gone differently?”
Strategists regularly use what-if-scenarios to ponder alternative results to wars and military campaigns. They can be used as a tool to better understand history. They can also be used to question long-held assumptions.
While we are not historians, we use our own what-if-scenarios in litigation. We maintain a heavy California caseload focused on estate and trust disputes. Each case has different facts, different jurisdictions, and different law.
Winston Churchill said that “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” We make it a point to learn from history. And, if possible, identify the turning points or factors that changed the course of litigation.
We field over two thousand inquiries per year from people that want to know about their own rights in situations they’ve never encountered before. Some situations are familiar to us. Some are not.
Here are a few of the common – the familiar.
- What if a married person dies leaving a trust that purports to dispose of his spouse’s share of community property without her consent?
- What if a trustee refuses to keep trust beneficiaries informed of the trust and its administration?
- What if a trustee won’t account to a beneficiary?
- What if a trustee uses trust funds to defend against a beneficiary’s action and the court determines that the trustee’s opposition to the contest was without reasonable cause and in bad faith?
- What if a care custodian drafts a will for an elder that leaves everything to the care custodian?
- What if a trustee won’t distribute trust assets within a reasonable time after the death of the settlor – the maker of the trust?
- What if the terms and provisions of a trust are ambiguous?
- What if a person promises to share their property after their death if a caregiver, friend, or family member takes care of their needs in exchange for the promise of sharing?
Finding the answer to each of these questions will depend upon the unique circumstances of every individual case.
If you’d like to speak with us about the trust or estate scenario that you’re facing, give us a call at 916 313-3030. We’ll be happy to speak with you.
Hackard Law: Attorneys Making a Difference
Attorney Michael Hackard
Michael Hackard is a top rated “AV” for over 20 years (“AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment- a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.”). Avvo also ranks him with their highest rating – “ 10.0 Rating – ‘Superb.’” Michael is also a “SuperLawyer” – an honor reserved for no more than five percent of attorneys in each state. [ Attorney Bio ]
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