Meet Megan Waugh. Rick and Megan talk about her work as a litigator at Schomer Law in California and how she approaches some of the more interesting cases that come across her desk. Tell us about your practice Megan has been working as a litigator for the last 5 years and deals with both contentious and non-contentious cases dealing with fun topics like incapacitation and death. Megan managed to help Rick out on a case where he had written off the money he advanced that he thought he would never see again. She discovered a situation where the person in the case managed to sign a deed months after becoming deceased. The suspect in the case actually had the ironic last name of Charity. There has to be a continuous adverse possession of five years, and that can be added together between adverse possessors. The heart of the argument in that particular case that Megan made was whether or not the five periods had run. Tell the listeners about some of your cases. Megan sees a lot of will and trust disputes where the family members are arguing amongst themselves about whether the person who signed the document had the capacity to sign. She prefers the cases of conservatorship where the person experiencing capacity issues are still alive. As boomers age, cases dealing with Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases and capacity will become more common. Megan relates an incredible story about Lillian Portnoy and her home in Beverly Hills where it appeared like she was being taken advantage of. She helped Lillian go from living in a dilapidated, rat-infested home to selling her home in one the highest court confirmation sales in that area of California. How do you forensically determine if a decedent is incapacitated? Finding out someone has dementia issues while they are flying a plan is not a good time to discover it. Putting someone into conservatorship is one of the most restricting things you can do to someone, short of putting them in jail. It’s very hard to tell when it comes to dementia and what kind of capacity a person has. There are several tests and experts have to examine and recommend actions in order to judge someone else’s ability to make decisions. What is your biggest strength that surprises your clients? Megan grew up in a very adult household and she fell into a mediator role between her family members. Cases involving capacity are essentially like a divorce, and she recommends her clients think of it that way. She tries to get people to avoid having to go to trial and prefers to see them walk away with something rather than bleeding the estate dry in a legal battle. People grieve in different ways, and some people hang on to a litigation as a way of holding on to their loved one. Those clients can be some of the most difficult to get to resolve their case. What is something you wish you knew as a new attorney that you know now? You’re going to get through it, and jumping in is the best way to get through it. You learn best from your mistakes especially in front of your peers. Stay authentic to yourself, you don’t have to be the bully attorney if that’s not your personality. Links To Resources Mentioned 310-337-7696 schomerlawgroup.com Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5-star rating and review in iTunes!