Contested Trust Litigation
Estate, probate, and trust disputes are complicated by grief, complex family dynamics, and other strong emotions. Attorneys at the Kelly Law Firm represent trustees and beneficiaries in estate and trust disputes. We are very sensitive to the issues facing all parties.
If you are in a dispute with a trustee, a beneficiary, or a family member, don’t simply hire the attorney who prepared the trust to represent you. The attorney who drafted the trust may not be a litigator and may not have ever set foot in court. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t hire your family doctor to perform open heart surgery.
Trust, probate, and estate litigation are specialized areas of the law and require attorneys who are dedicated to courtroom procedure and practice. As a prosecutor and civil litigator, Paul Kelly, Esq. has spearheaded trials before both juries and judges. Today in private practice, Mr. Kelly specializes in the complexities of probate, trust and property law. Don’t hire any attorney; hire a trial attorney who understands the issues. Contact the Kelly Law Firm, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Long Beach Trust Litigation and Probate litigation attorneys at (562) 799-5595 for a free consultation.
Removal of Trustee
A trustee may be removed by a co-trustee or beneficiary for various reasons, the most common of which include: (1) where the trustee has committed a breach of the trust, (2) where the trustee is insolvent or otherwise unfit to administer the trust; (3) where hostility or lack of cooperation among co-trustees impairs the administration of the trust; (4) where the trustee fails or declines to act; and also (5) where the trustee's compensation is excessive under the circumstances.
If you are a beneficiary of a trust, and you believe or have evidence that the trustee is misappropriating assets, not properly administering the trust, or perhaps has refused to respond to your inquiries, immediately contact the attorneys at the Kelly Law Firm, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Long Beach Removal of Trustee attorneys to find out what rights you have as a beneficiary.
If you are a trustee of a trust, and a beneficiary has retained counsel to remove you as trustee, immediately contact the attorneys at the Kelly Law Firm, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Long Beach Removal of Trustee attorneys to find out what rights you have as a beneficiary.
California Welfare and Institutions Code section 15610.70(a) defines undue influence generally as “excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person’s free will and results in inequity.” California Welfare and Institutions Code sections 15610.70(a)(1)-(4) go on to enumerate factors to be considered. They include:
The victim’s vulnerability, evidence of which may include: “incapacity, illness, disability, injury, age, education, impaired cognitive function, emotional distress, isolation or dependency, and whether the influencer knew or should have known of the alleged victim’s vulnerability."
The influencer’s apparent authority, evidence of which may include: “status as a fiduciary, family member, care provider, healthcare professional, legal professional, spiritual advisor, expert, or other qualification.”
The influencer’s conduct, evidence of which may include: “(a) Controlling necessaries of life, medication, the victim’s interactions with others, access to information, or sleep; (b) Use of affection, intimidation, or coercion; (c) 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.”
The equity of the challenged result, evidence of which may include: “the economic consequences to the victim, any divergence from the victim’s prior intent or course of conduct or dealing, the relationship of the value conveyed to the value of any services or consideration received, or the appropriateness of the change in light of the length and nature of the relationship.”
Significantly, undue influence doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with lack of mental capacity; one can be unduly influenced while still retaining capacity. The vulnerability of the victim is central to undue influence, as well as the apparent authority of the influencer and the use of manipulation.Undue influence is a particularly sinister form of financial elder abuse. Many elders do not have significant cognitive impairment, yet are still highly susceptible to undue influence and can be taken advantage of by someone they trust. Some common examples of undue influence are when a family member, friend or caregiver convinces an elderly adult to change a trust or will in his/her favor or when a financial power of attorney mishandles the financial affairs of a senior, taking assets out of the elder’s estate and putting them in the individual’s own name.
On the other hand, allegations of undue influence are often used as bargaining chips by persons who have been disinherited. If you have been accused of undue influence, immediately call the Kelly Law Firm, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Long Beach Undue Influence attorneys to find out what your rights are.If you believe your loved one has been the victim of undue influence, or if you have been accused of undue influence, immediately call the Kelly Law Firm, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Long Beach Undue Influence attorneys to find out what your rights are.