Inheritance fights are nothing new, nor is public fascination with them. Charles Dickens published Bleak House in 1853, satirizing the English legal system in the context of the fictional case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce. More recently, John Grisham’s Sycamore Row, released in 2013, was at the top of the New York Times best seller list.

Are trust and estate disputes on the rise in California? I haven’t seen hard evidence on one side or the other, but it seems that a confluence of factors creates a rising tide.