Hackard Law is pleased to announce that we've been featured in Comstock's Magazine, the premier publication for Sacramento's business community. We're proud of our attorneys, staff and all the hard work they do on behalf of our clients in estate and trust litigation. Here's the photo feature:
[caption id="attachment_2311" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Hackard Law attorneys from left to right: Brian Geremia, Andrea Athens, Michael Hackard, Sarah Cullen and Dave Jones.[/caption][...]
Over 200 million Americans are staying home – sheltering in place. Covid-19, the culprit behind our need to take cover, is capturing the world’s headlines.
And, we Americans, overwhelmed by minute-by-minute breaking news, want our questions answered. Headlines are not enough.
And, the first question is how does the Coronavirus impact our bodies. The answer to the question is better shown, than told.
So, thanks to the generosity of High Impact, a leading team of animators, forensic experts and physicians, this most important question is answered. High Impact is nationally known for assisting firms like Hackard Law in telling stories in ways that mere words cannot describe.
The leaders of High Impact freely share this video wi[...]
When someone wrongfully takes the family home in an estate or trust dispute, Sacramento heirs and beneficiaries end up frozen out and seemingly short of options.
Sacramento’s housing market has seen tremendous growth, and the median home value is just over $350,000. Unfortunately, higher real estate prices will tempt wrongdoers to steal the family home through fraud, undue influence and elder financial exploitation.
There are around 574,000 owner-occupied houses in Sacramento County, and residents 50 and older dominate ownership statistics at 65%. Senior citizens are more susceptible to fraud and undue influence, especially those suffering cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s or dementia, which means they’re more vulnerable to[...]
We have a cascade of coronavirus updates. Given our firm’s presence in litigating both probate and civil cases in California’s courts, we have an active interest in staying up to date how our judicial system is treating the coronavirus pandemic.
We collectively meet every Friday for a status review of cases and their scheduling requirements. Part of this review is an update of any changed court procedures. We can start with the highest court in the land.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Thursday, March 12, that it “will be closed to the public until further notice amid the coronavirus pandemic.” As of today, March 13, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego Courts are approaching the pandemic in different ways.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an integral part of virtually all California civil lawsuits. ADR encompasses mediation, arbitration, court settlement conferences and neutral case evaluation. Less than 3% of civil lawsuits proceed to an actual trial.
So, mediation of a civil lawsuit is common. The common mediation scenario starts at the mediator’s office. The parties to the lawsuit are assigned different meeting rooms. Some mediators start the mediation with an introduction that gathers the parties together in the same room.
Now, you see where we’re going.
Given the current heightened concerns over the high contagion factor of COVID-19, two leading California mediation groups have issued outbreak advisories for mediation[...]
Proclamation is not performance. It is not even the process toward performance.
Empty proclamations are counterfeit. Texans sometimes put it a different way: “All hat, no cattle.” It’s a reference to a person or a group who are all talk with no action, power, or substance behind their words.
A proclamation or pronouncement is one thing. But it is in process and performance that commitment, however proclaimed, is hashed out in the nitty-gritty reality of everyday life. The reality in 2020 is that much of institutional America has proclaimed their commitment to fighting elder financial abuse.
The Older Americans Act of 2006 and its 2016 Reauthorization evidence Congressional support for helping older adults age with health, d[...]
Over years of litigating probate, trust and estate battles, our clients frequently ask the question: Do many families go through estate battles like the one we are experiencing?
What first comes to our mind, as a response to the inquiry is Leo Tolstoy’s observation from Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Estate litigation battles, often outgrowths of unhappy families, have their own distinctive troubles. That said, the more estate battles we see, the more certain prevalent patterns become evident.
We represent people who challenge the wrongdoing of others in estate-related matters. Familiar grounds of challenge often arise from undue influence and financial elder abuse a[...]
California has incorporated scientific knowledge into statutes defining undue influence and financial exploitation of elders. These legislative efforts culminated back in 2014 with the effective application of the new California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. These statutes provide a powerful remedy against undue influence, including instances of deathbed transfers.
Undue influence is defined by California Probate Code Section 15610.70 as “excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person’s free will and results in inequity.” It includes four elements:
Vulnerability of the victim
Apparent authority of the influencer
Vacation homes are about people and places. We have fond memories of friends and family in places often visited. So, when we speak of vacation homes, we know that they are more than just bricks and mortar. They are family history – a chronology of our lives.
When it comes to estate planning for these properties, we need to give more than passing attention. I know – we do estate and trust litigation, and we’ve seen the multiple ways that vacation homes can challenge estate and trust administration. I’ll give a few of them. Identifying facts have been changed to protect the privacy of the participants.
A loving dad’s Monterey-area vacation home was in his trust at the time of his death. The dad, the settlor of the trust, direc[...]
Elder financial abuse and exploitation make for a silent epidemic of crime across America, and the phenomenon is only growing in scale. According to research conducted the watchdog National Adult Protective Services Association, one in twenty seniors have reported elder financial abuse in the recent past. And the damage to our national economy from elder financial abuse is estimated at anywhere from $3 billion to $36 billion per year, a figure that can only cause alarm. As the population of senior citizens in our country continues to grow, so too will the challenge posed by fraudsters who want to prey on our elderly and steal their money.
To help seniors and their loved ones identify and avoid scams, we’ve compiled a list of the most c[...]