Unintended Consequences | Preventing Probate, Trust & Estate Litigation
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Unintended Consequences | Preventing Probate, Trust & Estate Litigation


As a beneficiary, you have every right to
protect family assets from estate hijackers. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound
of cure” is true in many areas of life. In estate litigation, it rings particularly
spot-on. Estate litigation is expensive and given the
choice between prevention and cure most intelligent people would choose prevention. While estate disputes span the gamut from
false documents and financial elder abuse to fraudulent transfers, there are a number
of common scenarios that repeat themselves. Among them:
Joint Tenancy: A parent may freely choose or by undue influence transfer personal assets
into joint tenancy with a child or third party. Joint tenancy properties pass free of probate
immediately to the survivor joint tenant when the other joint tenant dies. Automatic Inheritance Transfers: Automatic
inheritance devices include joint tenancies, beneficiary designations in life insurance
policies, retirement account beneficiary designations and pay-on-death or transfer-on-death accounts. Incomplete or Unfunded Trusts: It is one thing
to have a trust with assets in it (real property, bank accounts, securities, business interests)
and an entirely different thing to have a nice-looking signed trust document with absolutely
nothing in the trust. Divorce: Unchanged beneficiary designations
in bank accounts, securities accounts, and life insurance policies may create havoc for
an estate plan. California has special rules regarding such
events but both the rules and the facts of each case make disputes between the decedent’s
heirs and his or her former spouse ripe for controversy. Life is full of surprises. If everything were always perfect we wouldn’t
need car warranties, vaccination shots, airbags or doctors. Well we know that we have hiccups and struggles
in life – we all do – and when those difficulties involve a disputed estate, you can call us
at Hackard Law. (916) 313-3030. We understand the how and why of trust, estate
and probate disputes. Let our experience and commitment to legal
excellence assist you. Thank you.

3 Comments

  • Judgment Proof

    I'm going through something myself but the responsibility of protecting and inheritance is a burden solely on the one giving the gift, not the receiver. I'm currently the fiduciary on my dad's estate because what should've been an inheritance for me and it up being hijacked and stolen. I'm already on fixed income and have been for quite some time because my wealthy dad would not provide for me growing up, he only provided as little as he could get away with while my mom stayed home with me and never worked but only abused me. Both of my parents were abusive but they were also drunks their whole lives until the end of their lives and the day eventually came when each of them finally died. My mom died in 06, my dad in 2016. Dad failed to update his beneficiary on the Ford motor life insurance policy until three weeks before he died when someone most likely took advantage of him during those last three weeks of adult failure to thrive. He also had Alzheimer's and died intestate, meaning the will. He also never remarried and was widowed when he died. In Ohio, when someone dies intestate, anything left behind would automatically go to the surviving spouse and some to the children. If there's a spouse but no children, everything goes to the spouse. If no spouse but children, everything goes to the children. These are the Ohio laws when someone dies intestate. A fraudster stepped in and interfered with Ohio state intestate laws and chances are very good she'll probably have to give everything back that she wrongfully took from dad and robbed me of an inheritance. Anytime someone hijacks inheritance, it causes undue hardship on not only the elder, but also their survivors who may already be struggling financially and have limited resources. The fraudster doesn't care who they're hurting or how bad rightful heirs may need that money or additional resources, all the fraudsters care about is what they can get no matter who it hurts. Fraudsters think they can steal from family and get away with it, but sooner or later they will get caught it either in this life or they'll answer for it in the afterlife when they must stand before God and give an account as to why they stole from all their families causing undue hardship from rightful heirs entitled to an inheritance according to not only earthly law but also God's laws

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