Unfortunately, instances of financial elder abuse have become common and are on the rise. Caregivers, new friends, trustees, conservators, financial advisors and family members often abuse the power and trust given to them by the elder.
Litigation may be necessary to protect your inheritance rights under the trust. These cases include bringing and defending claims of trustee misconduct. Court proceedings may become necessary to obtain information or distribute your inheritance in a timely manner. Documents controlling inheritance rights and trusteeship may be claimed to be invalid. Cases often include allegations of elder abuse or fraud.
To protect your rights under a will or intestacy (no will) or to bring and defend claims of executor misconduct, effective legal representation is essential. Claims can include action brought on behalf of the estate against elder abusers including claims for return of assets from those who obtained assets through undue influence or fraud.
If a will or trust (or amendment and codicil) was signed under suspicious circumstances, a contest can be filed in court or may need to be defended so that your inheritance is properly received. If you are the trustee or executor, you may be required to defend against claims that the will or trust is not valid. Undue influence, lack of capacity, fraud of mistake may render the will trust or amendment invalid. Elder abuse or other wrongdoing is often involved in these cases.
A conservatorship may be necessary to make financial, medical, and end of life decisions for those incapable of doing so in their own behalf. Requires establishing lack of capacity or inability to manage one’s financial affairs. Can include cases wherein a person is unable to resist fraud or undue influence. Estate planning and legal action to recover assets from wrongdoers may be possible once a conservatorship is established.
May include preparation of a will, a trust, a power of attorney, advanced directive or other documents to assist in the management of your assets during life and passing of your assets after death. Also includes planning for medical treatment or living arrangements as you age and making sure your wishes are documented and protected when you are unable to speak for yourself.
Initiated by filing a probate petition with the court, giving notice to all interested parties. Spousal rights can be determined. The process can be simplified and the time of administration shortened in some cases.
In cases involving disagreements or court filings following the death of a loved one, effective legal representation may become necessary to protect your rights and see that your loved one’s wishes are carried out. Accounting for estate assets, executor misconduct and other problems may require filing or defense of claims on behalf of executors, beneficiaries and creditors.