LOS ANGELES, Sept. 22, 2021 / PRNewswire / — Probate litigation law firm RMO LLP announced today it has secured a $1.1 million trial award on behalf of its elderly client in a disputed trust contest matter.
The case was brought against the neighbor of the client’s infirm aunt, according to RMO founding partner Scott E. Rahn. The neighbor had manipulated her way to becoming the primary beneficiary of the decedent’s trust, unwinding years of estate planning favoring the decedent’s family.
Representing the decedent’s niece, RMO made a motion at the outset of trial to shift the burden of proof to the neighbor, requiring her to prove by clear and convincing evidence the trust amendment was not the product of undue influence. RMO’s motion was granted, putting the wrongdoer in the inevitable position of trying to prove a negative, and by a heightened standard.
The neighbor presented evidence but was unable to meet her burden, which was confirmed when RMO successfully moved for judgment in favor of its client, arguing that the neighbor did not meet her burden of proof.
The court ordered judgment be entered in favor of RMO’s client for the value of the estate, double damages penalties for neighbor’s financial elder abuse, and finding that the trust amendment was not only the product of undue influence but also executed at a time when the decedent lacked testamentary capacity. The court also awarded attorneys’ fees and costs in favor of RMO’s client, which will be added to the judgment.
RMO LLP provides personal and efficient inheritance dispute services to individual and institutional clients. The firm’s attorneys focus on probate litigation involving contested trust, estate, probate, and conservatorship matters. Serving California and Texas, with offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County, San Diego, Fresno, the Bay Area, Dallas, and Houston. For more information, please visit https://rmolawyers.com/.