Buffington Law Firm's team of Elder, Trust, and Undue Influence attorneys often deal with controversies involving the mental competence of Elders. (As used herein, the term "Elder" shall have the meaning set forth in the Welfare & Institutions Code: A California resident 65 or older.) It is very common in Trust and other forms of Elder litigation that one party or other will allege that another party, often an elderly person, lacks mental competence, i.e. the mental competence to execute testamentary documents or the competence to contract. While this may sometimes be a legitimate issue in litigation, sometimes this is a litigation tactic which, if successful, can be extremely intrusive and distressful to the subject Elder.
Buffington Law Firm's Trust Litigation attorney team has dealt with all manner of trust and estate disputes. This Blog article will discuss some of the more common causes of such disputes.
Buffington Law Firm's trust dispute litigation attorneys have dealt with many trust litigation cases deriving from situations in which the maker of a trust (the "trustor") made changes to his or her trust very late in life. Trust dispute scenarios sometimes involve situations in which an elderly person makes a radical change to his or her estate plan literally days, weeks, or a few months before death. Of course, in our free society an elder of sound mind has every right to do this at any time. It is sometimes the case that after a lifetime of reflection a person may rationally want to make changes to the disposition of his or her legacy.
Our Firm has a long history of handling various kinds of inheritance disputes involving living trusts. Of all the types of trust disputes that Buffington Law Firm's trust litigation attorneys deal with, the most common scenario is that of the secretive or uncommunicative successor-trustee. These are situations in which the trustors have passed on (often the parents) and have left a family "living" trust in which several of their now-adult offspring or other loved ones are the beneficiaries. Usually the trustors (the now-deceased people who created the trust) have provided that one (sometimes more) of the beneficiaries will act as "successor-trustee" of the Trust.