Mark Russakow has been a Super Lawyer Rising Star, Super Lawyer, an AVVO Highest Rated Attorney, Top Attorney in Pasadena and Top American Attorney over 20 times in the last 28 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Trust Law Partners charges no upfront fees. Instead, we work on a contingency fee agreement, which means we’re paid only when we win your case.

We normally charge 35% of the total gross recovery if the case settles prior to filing an actual lawsuit. If we do go on to file, we charge 40% of the total gross recovery because of the added time and effort involved.

What’s more, we cover all ongoing costs—such as mediation, filing and messenger fees—as your case progresses, then get reimbursed for them at the end.

Some cases settle fast—in a matter of weeks or a few months. Some extend for years, go to trial, and end up being appealed as well.

Most cases settle within six to nine months. However, we have no control over which cases settle quickly or which go to trial. That depends entirely on the wants and needs of our clients, as well as how the other side responds. Some people just want to “get it over with” and settle. Others insist on “fighting to the death.”

This is often true. If you’re a beneficiary you have an absolute right to get a copy of the estate plan. If you aren’t, you don’t.

Trust Law Partners can request a copy of the plan, and it is usually supplied. However, in some cases the other side refuses and we may have to file a lawsuit to force compliance.

If you receive a letter like this, immediately seek legal advice if you plan to contest the estate plan. Waiting beyond 120 days may limit your legal options and keep you from challenging the most current plan. Call Trust Law Partners to set up a free consultation.

That depends on the circumstances. If such a letter was never sent, in many cases an estate plan can still be contested years later. Experienced trust and probate litigation attorneys like Trust Law Partners can help you understand your options.

Surprisingly, being a relative is no guarantee you’ll receive money under an estate plan. Basically, people can leave money to anyone they want. If you truly feel your parents would not have “cut you out”—or that someone who did receive money shouldn’t have, you may have a claim. Talk to us.

It could be. One of the ways Trust Law Partners contests an estate plan is by gauging the mental competency of the person who created it. To uncover opportunities other firms might overlook we examine medical records, interview witnesses, and sometimes question the lawyer who prepared the plan.

Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t. It depends on the situation and how their criminal past affects the case.

If they’re running from drug dealers, or stealing money from Mom and Dad’s bank accounts, that may work in your favor. The same holds true if they threatened them to change the estate plan to their benefit. On the other hand, if, despite their criminal past, they treated your parents well it may not affect your case. Trust Law Partners can help you understand your best course of action.

Estate plans often mention specific accounts, investments and real estate; and there’s usually a beneficiary designated to inherit these assets.

If the beneficiary is the estate plan—such as the trust, the assets are usually included. If the beneficiary is listed, the assets go to that person or people outside the estate plan. Bottom line: it’s always best to have an attorney review the facts to determine your options.

It might. Occasionally, this will become a source of contention between estate beneficiaries when declining parents name a son, daughter or other party as a joint tenant—typically to handle bill-paying and other financial matters.

If there’s no indication that the parents were pressured to create that arrangement—through undue influence or coercion, the property automatically passes to the surviving joint tenant(s) .