San Diego Probate Trial Lawyers & Estate Trial Lawyers
Welcome to San Diego Trial & Employment Lawyers
We have been working as Probate Trial Lawyers in San Diego for a number of years and have learned much from this challenging area. Probate court lawyers are hired where there is a contested inheritance or family manipulation and work on cases that are very difficult in the sense that there are very deep feelings involved and the parties are normally related. This is what makes probate law so complex… the family dynamics and hostilities.
A Number of Skills
You, the client, require a probate trial lawyer who can bring a number of skills to the table. Probate trial law not only requires a solid understanding of litigation law, but also requires skills in dealing with family members and resolving the issues while spending as little as possible on litigation. Our lead attorney is a high-level negotiator and a litigation strategist. He has been resolving problems of all sorts for our clients for 29 years and is an author in the field of high-level negotiations. Call us now, let’s talk about your situation and offer you some proposed solutions. You don’t have to spend a small fortune on litigation. Often, we are able to file a lawsuit and the other party, realizing there are costs and risks associated with fighting it out, will negotiate the case to resolution; on average that will take a day (once the lawsuit is filed of course).
What Our Probate Lawyers Can Do
- If we have a situations where the trustee is abusing his or her power we can file an action to have them replaced. Additionally, we can file an injunction to have them stopped from pursuing any more actions with respect to the trust assets.
- If the elder is being abused and/or manipulated we can file an elder abuse case (see below). This is a very strong attack and can provide much-needed leverage in a case that has someone manipulating the elder and abusing his or her power as executor or executrix. More than half the cases we see in the probate litigation area involve instances where there is elder abuse in one form or the other.
- If someone got written out of a trust due to someone els’s undue influence, we can file an action to have the situation reversed as if it had never occurred.
- If someone is taking advantage of the financial position of the elder and manipulating the funds as executor/executrix, we can ask for the court to force an accounting of all the assets.
Probate Case Strategy
Strategy is critical in a probate case. The reason is that the probate lawyer may be dealing with an elder abuse case, or a case of manipulation. We often find cases where a new spouse or a family member has other people disinherited while ‘that’ culprit or their family is enriched as a result of the undue influence on an elder person or one whose mental faculties are not all intact. The good news is that if the other side loses the elder abuse case, they have to pay your legal fees. That fact provides a powerful incentive to resolve the case. Additionally, filing for an accounting, issuing a Request for Production of Documents, or a Deposition Notice can drastically change the dynamics of the case and make resolution a lot easier.
Probate Case Dynamics
For some reason, something happens and people cannot work out their differences when someone passes away. There may be a number of reasons:
- A new lover/wife/partner came into the picture at the last minute;
- One of the children was left out for one of many reasons…often based on a miscommunication of some sort;
- One person, as executor mismanaged the funds or felt that for one reason or the other they deserved more; or
- The parties never got along and this is not an exception…another opportunity for a dig.
San Diego Probate Trial Lawyers
We are here to help you. First and foremost:
1. We want to help you make things right; and
2. We want to save you as much money as we can.
As our lead attorney is a high-level negotiator (kidnappings/extortion/blackmail resolved over the phone with NO money changing hands..in one week)…
our first mission is to ascertain if we can get the other party to the table so that we can discuss the situation. Yes, we know this is not always easy…but on the other hand, you haven’t worked with ‘us’ yet… if we can get the other side to talk to us and express their position, we can put this to rest before spending any money on litigation.
If that fails, we will litigate. Our strategy will be to get a result as rapidly as possible and at the lowest possible cost. However, some costs are inevitable. We can file a motion (with appropriate precedents) that under certain circumstances, the trust may later recompense you for the money you used to protect it (i.e. your legal fees in protecting the trust, or everyone’s assets, not just your own interests).
Sometimes, the case simply is a straightforward one of elder abuse. It is not a matter that one person requires money, happens to be the executor and helps him/herself. Sometimes they are truly taking advantage of the person. We see this a lot more than we want to. In this case, there is a whole different strategy to adopt and we go after it both relentlessly and rapidly.
Elder abuse is also covered in California under Penal Code Section 368 and the penalties are severe; cases can be handled as misdemeanors or felonies. Our cases have shown us that elder abuse can take a number of forms:
- The most common one is taking financial control away from the elder, or somehow manipulating the person’s finances; we see this one too often.
- Another form of elder abuse is quite interesting. In this scenario, the elder may require some medication for some mental issues. A person may withhold the medication from the person in order to trigger a certain behavior in an effort to have the person declared incompetent.
- Of course, sadly, there is physical elder abuse. It seems to be when we suspect this situation, and the elder dies, you will often find the person cremated almost immediately; rarely is there an autopsy or normal burial.
- Other common criminal forms of elder abuse include violence, threats, rape, and even murder. A person can be guilty of elder abuse by permitting a third party to continue abusing an elderly person.
- Other criminal and non-criminal methods of elder abuse include placing the person in a situation that endangers their welfare or safety. Neglecting the elderly person so that they have no access to what they require, including food, rest, medication, or safe circumstances. Lastly, one person, a child, may take advantage of the elder person in a number of ways, in order to have access to the elder’s social security check; this may or may not leave the elder with enough money for food or rent.
Call Us For a Consultation
We know this is a most difficult time in your life. Let’s talk. Bring your paperwork and let’s spend 45 minutes together to obtain a temperature check. At that point, you will at least have an honest evaluation of where you stand. You will be meeting with our lead attorney, and chief strategist who has been an attorney and negotiator for 29 years. Our phone number is (619) 793-4827; call today..evening appointments are available on either Mondays or Tuesdays, depending on our availability.