• Probate Guardianship Abuse | Stopping Elder Financial Exploitation
    Articles,  Blog

    Probate Guardianship Abuse | Stopping Elder Financial Exploitation

    Imagine you have an elderly loved one – maybe a parent or grandparent. How would you feel if someone took them from their home against their will, isolated them from you and looted their estate? What would you do? Believe it or not, this is big business – and the adult probate guardianship industry operates under color of law. Guardianship abuse poses a real threat to the well-being of seniors and their families. Lives are irreparably damaged and fortunes disappear, all because of the greed of skilled manipulators who use legal mechanisms to commit what amounts to elder financial abuse. The duty to protect is turned on its head when…

  • Stopping Undue Influence & Estate Theft | CA Probate and Trust Litigation Attorneys
    Articles,  Blog

    Stopping Undue Influence & Estate Theft | CA Probate and Trust Litigation Attorneys

    Family members of elderly victims of undue influence – a phenomenon often connected with elder financial abuse – recoil in disbelief when learning of an elder’s coerced gift or bequest property transfers. This disbelief gives way to hurt and outrage as the estate thief makes brazen, insincere and false claims to the estate. It’s our job as probate and trust litigation attorneys to systematically gather supporting evidence to overcome the actions of estate thieves. Developing these cases often depends on claims of undue influence. “Undue influence” in California means excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person’s free will and results in…

  • ABCs of California Trust, Probate & Estate Disputes | 2018
    Articles,  Blog

    ABCs of California Trust, Probate & Estate Disputes | 2018

    William Shakespeare’s observation that “What’s past is prologue” is a ready reference when we’re thinking about the future. We often see that what has happened until now sets the stage for what will happen in the future. When it comes to California trust, probate and estate litigation the past year – 2017 – is likely a preface to what will take place in 2018. Hackard Law’s 2017 efforts reflect a period of intense litigation focusing on the protection of elders and/or their beneficiaries against estate and trust wrongdoers. Our firm filed trust or elder financial abuse cases in the probate and civil courts of more than twenty California counties. Our…

  • Do I Have a Real Case? | Probate, Estates & Trusts Litigation
    Articles,  Blog

    Do I Have a Real Case? | Probate, Estates & Trusts Litigation

    I’m Mike Hackard. I lead Hackard Law, a Northern California based law firm that focuses on probate, estates & trusts litigation. I’m the one who is ultimately responsible for taking a new case. It’s an interesting and an imperfect process. We are not magicians – we know that we can’t magically turn a fact pattern into a viable legal case. Fact patterns are only part of the picture – if we delve deeper, they’re stories of real family traumas and strained personal relationships. Being spurned by a parent – even a parent with Alzheimer’s – or taken advantage of by a stepparent or sibling is not something generally shrugged off.…

  • What Are Common Acts of Fraud in Trust or Probate?
    Articles,  Blog

    What Are Common Acts of Fraud in Trust or Probate?

    I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. We handle substantial trust, estate, probate and elder financial abuse litigation cases in California’s largest cities and counties. Frequent venues include Sacramento, Los Angeles and the major Bay Area Counties in between – including San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. While every case is different, there are often some common acts of fraud in trust, estate or probate lawsuits. I’ll talk about some of my own observations of these common acts of fraud in trust and probate disputes. Let’s start with the difference between actual and constructive fraud. California law defines actual fraud as consisting “in any of the following acts,…

  • Probate vs Nonprobate Transfers | How Assets Transfer at Death
    Articles,  Blog

    Probate vs Nonprobate Transfers | How Assets Transfer at Death

    Hello, I’m Mike Hackard. I am a California estate and trust litigation lawyer. I began the practice of law in 1976, and I’ve been very active to this day. I want to discuss how assets pass on after we pass on. We begin by recognizing how different is the part played by our probate courts from that of automatic transfers on death. We can see these differences by telling some stories. We in the United States have the gift of owning property. We have certain property rights and responsibilities associated with the ownership. For example, if we own a home, we have the responsibility of paying property taxes. We may…

  • Inheritance Lawyers Help | Just a Phone Call Away
    Articles,  Blog

    Inheritance Lawyers Help | Just a Phone Call Away

    Inheritance can be baffling. If inheritance means to receive property upon the death of an owner either by will, trust, contract or operation of law by the heir to estate, rights, and liabilities of a decedent, the definition itself leaves enormous areas for questioning. We understand that estate and trust law can seem obscure. People need help. If they seek understanding Hackard Law has more than 500 videos on YouTube that explore multiple parts of estate administration, litigation, probate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation. The text for the videos is available at Hackard Law’s blog located at www.hackardlaw.com/blog. People with specific inquiries can call our Los Angeles number at…