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Can you trust your parent’s estate planning lawyer? Recent CA case says maybe not

Uncategorized Jan 1, 2015
post about Can you trust your parent’s estate planning lawyer? Recent CA case says maybe not

When the elderly work with attorneys to plan their estate and create probate tools like trusts, we would like to think that the attorney is working with the best interest of the client in mind.  However, a recent California case on the financial exploitation of an elderly woman by her estate planning attorney shows that isn’t always the case:

  • It was the latest development in a long-running lawsuit filed by four prominent nonprofits, including NPR and Doctors Without Borders, over the estate of the late Siv Ljungwe.
  • Siv was a longtime schoolteacher in Redlands who amassed a fortune in real estate and other investments before her death in 2010.
  • The charities argued that it was Ljungwe’s wish that her fortune be divided in equal parts among them, according to the terms of a 2004 trust she had drawn up.
  • They contended that a second trust made in 2008 that left all her money to her lawyer was invalid because the attorney had exerted improper influence on Ljungwe.

After much litigation, the court ruled that Siv’s attorney had infact manipulated his relationship with her and determined the lawyer must pay $4.3 million to the woman’s trust.  Presumably, the trust would then be distributed to the charities as outlined in Siv’s 2004 trust documents.

West Palm Beach Probate litigation attorneys have seen sad instances in which the elderly are taken advantage of and exploited financially (Florida).  Florida estate planning litigation lawyers have unfortunately seen situations in which the financial exploitation of the elderly is done by professionals who are hired to protect the very people they arescamming.

How you can be sure that you or your loved ones aren’t being scammed in a will scam Florida?

  • Contact the attorney or guardian handling the estate planning
  • Address the circumstances that seem irregular
  • Hire an attorney you can trust for a second opinion
  • Make sure there is a proper record of conversations and document history

Read more on this story here: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/dec/31/carl-dimeff-siv-ljungwe-trust-kpbs-npr/?#article-copy

See http://www.pankauskilawfirm.com/ for videos and information on Probate Law, Estate Planning, and Estate Administration.