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Hi, this is Stewart Albertson with Albertson and Davidson and we get this question every now and then, and the question is: Do I really need to hire a lawyer for my trust contest or will contest or can I do it on my own? Can I go order a book from Nolo press or from Amazon and just figure out how to do this myself? And here’s the answer: No. That could be the end of this article right now, but no, you cannot handle your own trust contest or will contest.

I know that sounds like a self-serving statement because I’m a lawyer and I get paid to bring these cases, but this would be like asking you, can you handle your own gallbladder surgery? Can you handle your own appendectomy? Can you handle your own heart surgery? No, you’re going to have to hire professionals to do that if you want it done right. So get the books from Amazon, get the books from Nolo press so that you can educate yourself on what a trust contest is, a will contest, and how they work so that you can go in and sit down and have a good conversation with a professional lawyer to determine the best course of action moving forward. But if you really want a trust contests or a will contest done properly, you’re going to have to use a professional lawyer who has the experience in the field to handle it properly.

 

Every month we are contacted by several hundreds of people asking questions about Trust and Will issues. Abused Trust beneficiaries, bad Trustees, people being disinherited by wrongdoers at the last minute…the problems seem to emanate from every segment of society.

It doesn’t help that Trust and Will law is particularly confusing. We spend a lot of time trying to answer as many questions as we can. So why not do a Live Q&A on our YouTube Channel? Here we go, Friday, October 5, 2018 we will host the first of our weekly live broadcasts on YouTube. Bring your questions, and see if we can give you a few answers.

Live YouTube Broadcast begins at 1:30 pm on Friday, October 5, 2018.

 

If you find your inheritance being reduced or eliminated and you want to take action to protect yourself in court, you may want to first consider California No Contest clauses.  California Trusts and Wills often contain a no contest clause that states you will be disinherited if you challenge the terms of the Trust or Will.  And while California no contest clauses have been severely limited in recent years under California law, they still can apply to certain actions you take to challenge a Trust or Will.

In this course, we discuss the application of California no contest clauses in more detail and offer our views on how best to deal with this difficult issue.  If you would prefer to read about this topic, you can find our written blog post here.

The Facts

In this video we cover the basic ground rules for California no contest clauses and provide the factual scenario we will use for the next two video lessons.

The Law

Partner Stewart Albertson provides his professional opinion on how to deal with California no contest clauses found in California Trusts and Wills.

The Talk

Partners Stewart Albertson and Keith A. Davidson discuss their views of how to deal with California no contest clauses.

If you are the victim of a poorly drafted Trust or Will that prevents you from inheriting the property your parents wanted you to have, you may have an attorney malpractice claim on your hands.  In this course, we discuss the rights and options you have to recoup the harms and losses you suffer from attorney malpractice.

The Facts

In this video we cover the basic rules for attorney malpractice claims and present the factual scenario we will use in the next two videos.

The Law

Partner Stewart Albertson discusses his professional opinion of how the law of attorney malpractice applies to the facts presented in Lesson 1.

The Talk

Partners Keith A. Davidson and Stewart Albertson discuss their views of how attorney malpractice is used to recoup harms and losses suffered by attorney malpractice.

 

If you are contesting a Trust or Will, or filing a California financial elder abuse action, you have to know about undue influence.  In a majority of cases, undue influence is alleged as the basis to overturn a California Trust or Will.  And the same concept can be the basis to file and win a California financial elder abuse claim.

In course 3, we cover the facts, the law, and the talk for California undue influence claims.

The Facts

In this video we cover the basic rules for undue influence claims; and then present the factual scenario we will use in the next two videos.

The Law

Partner Keith A. Davidson discusses his professional opinion of how the law of undue influence applies to the facts presented in Lesson 1.

The Talk

Partners Stewart Albertson and Keith A. Davidson discuss their views of how undue influence is used and applied in Trust and Will lawsuits.

California Trustees have a lot of duties and responsibilities, but none are more important than the top three Trustee duties discussed in course 2 of our video series.  You can find an in-depth written discussion of this topic here.

The Facts.

In this video we discuss a basic factual scenario that we will use in the next two videos.

The Law.

In this video, partner Stewart Albertson gives his professional opinion on Trustee duties.

The Talk.

In this video, partners Stewart Albertson and Keith A. Davidson give their views on Trustee duties.

It’s time for something new.  We developed a new course called The Beneficiary’s Corner.  This course will allow us to delve more deeply into a California Trust or Will topic.  The first lesson of each course is The Facts, where we set out a hypothetical scenario drawn from our experience in actual cases.  We then provide you with our professional opinion in The Law section.  And finally, we have our partners conduct a roundhouse discussion of the topic in The Talk.

Below are the videos from our first course focusing on Trustee investing.  Each month we plan to release a new course in the same format.  You can find all of our courses here.   You can also find an in-depth written text for this course here.