Albertson & Davidson Wins Undue Influence and Financial Elder Abuse Ruling
Mar 9, 2020
San Diego, CA (Law Firm Newswire) March 9, 2020 – Albertson & Davidson, LLP, a California trust and estate litigation firm, announced today that they secured an important victory in their client’s financial elder abuse case against Thomas Yoshio Itow. Honorable David L. Belz, Judge of the Orange County Superior Court, determined that the facts presented by the firm in the matter of the Itow Family Trust met the evidence standard required for the ruling.
Under California financial elder abuse law, four elements must be proven to establish undue influence: (1) vulnerability of the victim, (2) apparent authority of the wrongdoer, (3) actions and tactics of the wrongdoer, and (4) an inequitable result.
In the ruling, Judge Belz said that Yoko Itow, the defendant’s mother, was vulnerable due to her age, health, and isolation from her family. As a family member, care provider, and fiduciary, Thomas Itow exercised authority over his mother which led to the disinheritance of her daughter, petitioner Nancy Thompson, which was an inequitable result. The court also found that Thomas Itow committed financial elder abuse by “taking and obtaining real or personal property” belonging to his mother when he transferred the family residence into a newly formed Trust from which he would receive all of her assets.
“This is an important win for the protection of our elderly citizens,” said Jeff Hall, partner with Albertson & Davidson, LLP and lead trial attorney for Nancy Thompson. “While we are happy to have helped our client fight against financial elder abuse, there are many more cases out there where families are struggling with the devastating effects of elder abuse.”
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, at least ten percent of senior citizens – more than 5 million elders – experience some form of elder abuse in a given year. Financial elder abuse makes up more than half of these cases.
As for the Estate of Yoko Itow, Judge Belz ordered the return of her real property, invalidation of the family Trust, and appointment of Nancy Thompson as Executor of the estate of Yoko Itow. The ruling effectively returns Yoko Itow’s estate to its rightful heirs by invalidating the documents her son obtained through the use of undue influence.
“This ruling is a complete victory for our client,” added Hall. “But more than that, it exemplifies the strength of our justice system in helping to protect elders from future abuse.”
About Albertson & Davidson, LLP
Founded in 2008, Albertson & Davidson, LLP, are California estate litigation attorneys for trust, will, and probate matters. The firm believes in standing up and fighting for abused trust and Will beneficiaries who are in danger of losing their rightful inheritances. Albertson & Davidson, LLP handles cases throughout California with offices in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. To date, Albertson & Davidson, LLP has secured over $130 million in verdicts and settlements for its clients.