Estate, trust and probate litigation often involves allegations that elderly adults' estate planning desires were not carried out after their deaths (either by someone's intentional acts or negligence), or that those elderly adults were taken advantage of and their estate planning desires were thwarted while they were still living (albeit without their knowledge or consent). With respect to the latter scenario, sometimes the claims are true, and sometimes they aren't. Issues of (in)competency, illness, undue influence, and fraud are often raised in these types of proceedings. Each case is different and we have certainly represented those doing the accusing as well as those being accused.
But one common theme that I have noticed in virtually all of these cases is that no matter how much estate planning that the elderly person actually did, in virtually every situation they probably could have done a bit more. It might not have ultimately made a difference with respect to whether or not litigation would have resulted, but where more planning is undertaken that can frequently result in a lesser likelihood of later conflict.
With this in mind, thanks to a tip on the Wills, Trusts & Estates Blog, the American Bar Association has apparently just released the "Legal Guide For The Seriously Ill: Seven Key Steps To Get Your Affairs In Order." I've given the document an overview and would heartily recommend it to anyone dealing with such circumstances (or anyone with a loved one who is dealing with this situation).