Stopping Undue Influence & Estate Theft | CA Probate and Trust Litigation Attorneys
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Stopping Undue Influence & Estate Theft | CA Probate and Trust Litigation Attorneys


Family members of elderly victims of undue
influence – a phenomenon often connected with elder financial abuse – recoil in disbelief
when learning of an elder’s coerced gift or bequest property transfers. This disbelief gives way to hurt and outrage
as the estate thief makes brazen, insincere and false claims to the estate. It’s our job as probate and trust litigation
attorneys to systematically gather supporting evidence to overcome the actions of estate
thieves. Developing these cases often depends on claims
of undue influence. “Undue influence” in California means excessive
persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that
person’s free will and results in inequity. California law considers a number of factors
in determining whether an estate transfer was produced by undue influence. The vulnerability of the victim is part of
this mosaic. Incapacity, illness, disability, injury, age,
education, impaired cognitive function, emotional distress, isolation, or dependency all help
to identify the elderly victim’s vulnerability. The influencer’s position as a family member,
care provider, fiduciary, health care professional, legal professional, spiritual adviser, expert,
or other qualification can demonstrate apparent authority over the victim. California law lists a number of tactics used
by influencers as potential evidence of undue influence. The list is not exclusive – real-life circumstances
provide others. Common tactics include controlling necessities
of life, medication, the victim’s interactions with others, access to information, or sleep. Use of affection, intimidation or coercion
are part and parcel of undue influence. Initiation of changes in personal or property
rights, use of haste or secrecy in effecting those changes, effecting changes at inappropriate
times and places, and claims of expertise in effecting changes also provide evidence
of undue influence. The “equity of the result” is another consideration. This may include the economic consequences
to the victim, any change from the victim’s prior intent or course of conduct or dealing,
the relationship between services and value given, or the appropriateness of the change
in light of the length and nature of the relationship. Innocent family members must ultimately hold
undue influencers accountable. They must choose to right the wrong. The simple truth is that this is not done
without legal intervention. California law has a set of rules that can
be enforced in probate, civil and criminal courts against victimizers. This is where the mayhem should stop. At Hackard Law, we safeguard beneficiaries
against harm in both the probate and civil courts. We serve clients throughout California, including
in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose, Alameda, and San Diego. You can call us today to see how we can help
you. Our number is 916-313-3030.

One Comment

  • The Cat

    You say that California probate laws can be enforced right../ That's just not true. At least in my case it wasn't. My inheritance was stolen by an ex stepson of my Dads that was raised to be a very corrupt attorney. Not only him but also old school criminals as well that helped him steal it. A corrupt S.F. Public administrator was involved as well. Eventually he was terminated but not until he got what was needed to steal the estate. What my case boils down to is this… . I never got notice to my Aunts probate in California. In my Aunts will is a survivorship clause that you must survive my Aunt by so many days in order to inherit. Aunts main beneficiary was my Dad . He was in stage 7 alzheimers disease in 1992. Very sick. Aunts probate started in late 1996. Dad lived in Washington state and my Aunts case in San Francisco Superior court. No one proved him to even be alive at that time either. That's where the public admin didn't check it out and went along with the ex stepson. See, my Sister & I are the Contingent beneficiaries of our Dads half of the estate. With that being said, is the very reason why we were intentionally left out of the estates probate. Had we of been involved they knew that we would of made them prove our Dad was still alive when we know he was not. The ex stepson came from a small knit community where everyone knows everyone. In other words documents were changed and or destroyed or made up like my Dads so called medical records. My Aunts estate was worth literally in the high millions. Not one Family member got a dime of it. It all went to the ex Stepson. Not only did he steal my Aunts estate but my Dads as well. He was the main beneficiary , the DPOA, the poa, Personal rep, Attorney in fact. You name it he was it. We were clueless as to the death or probate of my Aunts. It wasn't until many years later that we became aware. Since so much time had passed no lawyers would take our case not one. Sure i could of got one with a $50,000.00 retainer fee. Who has that kind of money, not me or even 3/4 of the American population- I was left in a situation where I had no choice but to try and take on a case that only a well seasoned attorney should be taking on. I filed a Motion to vacate judgement due to extrinsic fraud. Of course the corrupt judge denied my motion and told me to get legal help. He told me he wouldn't even look at my motion without legal help. For one thats illegal and violates my Constitutional rights to due process. This happend on many levels to me with this case. I was so upset over this i had to take a break from all the damage it was doing to my health. I finally jumped on board again and looked for legal help again but with no luck. Apprx a year later i managed to find an attorney that I had to take a $3500.00 loan out for her retainer fee. Come to find out this attorney so happen to know the ex stepson!! Just my fricken luck. She didn't lift a finger to help me what~so~ever~! I'm still paying off that loan- I mean what can one do when not only the ex stepson and the S.F. Public administrator and the judge and the court clerks are all involved with the estate theft? What can you do..? NOTHING that's what– Some say to go to the cops. I tried that too and they pretty much laughed in my face and told me to find a lawyer. Back and forth back and forth this went. My Aunt would roll over in her grave if she knew this took place- Probate fraud is running wild in the USA PROTECT YOURSELVES NOW BEFORE YOUR LOVED ONE DIES SO THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN TO YOUR FAMILY- God bless…

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