& Trust Attorneys
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
"Do I need a probate lawyer near me?"
We recommend finding an experienced probate lawyer familiar with the county probate court in the county where the decedent lived. For example, if the decedent lived in Los Angeles, we recommend working with a probate lawyer in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles probate lawyer will generally be more familiar with the Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Division, versus an out of state attorney.
"What is the penalty for financial elder abuse?"
Generally, we see financial elder abuse treated only as a civil matter, which means there is no jail time or criminal record for the abuser. The penalty may be just returning the stolen assets or money. Sometimes, the wrongdoer also may need to pay interest, any gains, treble damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and/or costs. For example, if the accused stole $100,000 and invested it, then the accused most likely would have to repay the $100,000 plus any interest, earnings or profits that accrued.
"What is the penalty for stealing from an estate?"
When an abuser steals from an estate, the penalty can be as little as simply returning the stolen monies or assets to the trust or estate. However, the California Probate Code does provide statutory bases for pursuing double damages, treble damages, punitive damages, disinheritance of the abuser, attorney’s fees and/or costs in egregious cases. The availability and likelihood of these remedies and recoveries is very fact determinative and should be discussed with a probate or estate litigation attorney as early as soon as you suspect wrongdoing.