Probate Petitions | Guarding CA Beneficiary Rights

Probate Petitions | Guarding CA Beneficiary Rights


Our team of attorneys at Hackard Law serves
trustees and beneficiaries in trust and probate litigation cases, including accountings, trustee
removal and surcharge petitions, elder financial abuse, fraud, concealment and conversion actions
in California Probate Courts. The process of representation is initiated
by a preliminary review of our prospective client’s case. A part of this review is securing an understanding
of the terms of the decedent’s trust (including all amendments), identifying the property
and cash inflows and outflows from the trust, and scrutinizing end of life inter vivos and
testamentary gifts to new friends, suddenly interested family members and/or care custodians. We are regularly asked to review cases rife
with the badges of undue influence or fraud. While these reviews are often requested by
trustees troubled by doubts as to the legitimacy of a decedent’s end of life trust changes,
the reviews are also initiated by wronged beneficiaries. Probate Court petitions often seek a number
of remedies that will likely be fully and vigorously litigated. Newly minted beneficiaries don’t easily walk
away even when their benefactor’s gift appears more likely than not to be the result of undue
influence or fraud. California discovery rules for the most part
apply in probate litigation. Both the benefits and burdens of these discovery
processes have a major part in trial preparation, mediation and settlement proceedings – and
if ultimately necessary – a trial on the merits. Changes in California law have been trending
toward a more expansive protection of legitimate beneficiaries’ rights. These protections are best implemented by
timely vigilance. Estate wrongdoers often hide behind time delays
and successive “dog ate my homework” type excuses. Timely discovery in probate litigation can
help to overcome and quickly ferret out the falsehoods employed by perpetrators of elder
financial abuse. If you’ve witnessed wrongdoing in an estate
or trust case involving your family, you can call us at Hackard Law – 916-313-3030. We’ll be happy to listen and see how we
can help you. Thank you.

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