Meet Scott Schomer. Rick and Scott talk about his very successful real estate practice and his experience over the last two and half decades working commercial real estate. What does your typical practice look like? Scott is a probate and trust specialist in addition to focusing on commercial real estate. When it comes to probate court, you’re often finding real estate so there is a lot of overlap between the two fields. Diminished capacity cases also come into play quite often and can be quite complicated. Looking back into the past to forensically identify whether someone had diminished capacity can be very difficult. Medical evidence is the first place Scott looks when trying to prove diminished capacity because without decent medical evidence, there is often no case at all. A cursory conversation with someone may not reveal anything obvious, you have to dig into their executive functions before you may notice a truly diminished capacity. Scott relates a case where a man became so impaired by alcohol and drug dependency, he was convinced into refinancing a duplex he owned and giving the money to his tenant. Eventually, the tenant convinced the man to just give her the property and nothing was discovered until the man was in the hospital much later on. What is considered undue influence on a senior? The elderly standard statute is around 65 and most people dealing with undue influence are in their 70’s and 80’s. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also get people in their 50’s and 60’s. Generally, the rule is it’s harder to challenge or attack lending transactions, so there is a fair amount abuse that goes on in those situations. Scott mainly deals with testamentary decisions, where a trust is amended or created. One of the very first things he looks for after medical evidence is looking at who was involved in the transaction. The minute Scott has any concerns about a client’s capacity, he contacts a professional and has the person assessed. The concept of undue influence involves three elements: a confidential relationship, active participation, and undue benefit. If you can show all three elements in a transaction, the law presumes that is a void transaction. Most of the problems that come up in estate planning can be avoided by always using an estate planner instead of creating ambiguity by writing up something yourself. What do you wish you knew when you were getting started? Get in the game and get in front of judges and clients as quickly as you can. Find somebody that will be a good mentor for you, one that will allow you to stretch your legs and try things out. The nature of firms has changed. New lawyers don’t need to join a firm, they can get a lot of the same advantages by building a personal network. What is your biggest strength? Scott’s biggest strength is his ability to predict the outcome of most of his cases. When starting a case, Scott focuses on information gathering first, and then breaks it down into pieces. It’s important to not get overwhelmed by a case and to take it in small steps. Links To Resources Mentioned 310-337-7696 Schomerlawgroup.com Facebook.com/schomerlawgroup Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5-star rating and review on iTunes!