Walt Disney is one of the most celebrated and successful entrepreneurs of the 20th Century and a man whose vision continues to delight families around the world through his Disney Theme Parks and Movies. Disney himself was a scrappy and colorful animator, film producer, voice actor, and corporate leader who may have become more celebrated and appreciated since his death in 1966 than he was while he was alive.
Despite many setbacks during his career and big gambles on films and theme parks that could easily have gone the wrong way, Disney managed to leave behind a significant fortune, mostly in the form of Walt Disney company stock which some have estimated was worth $100 Million when he died.
Unfortunately for several of Disney’s gr[...]
You’ve probably heard that “It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.” Public opinion guru Dr. Frank Luntz is making a career from this truth – he explains that he is “testing language and find(ing) words that will help his clients” explain their products or public issues.
So, we now have a new word when talking about California trust law, issues, modifications and transfers. It’s a word that we might say, but not necessarily hear or understand. The word is “decanting.”
The word’s general usage is associated with wine – pouring wine from one bottle into a carafe to remove sediment and allow it to breathe. California now gives new meaning to the word in its recently enacted Uniform Trust Decanting Act.
A recent news story on a Bay Area trust dispute caught my attention – not necessarily over the legal details, but because of the general elements common to many cases of estate litigation. It has features we encounter all too frequently in our advocacy for beneficiaries: a successful family business, an ailing patriarch, his children from a prior marriage, and a stepmother. These are the ingredients for potential conflict.
Back in 1951, an enterprising young immigrant arrives in San Francisco with his wife and founds a corner bakery that proves a hit with the local neighborhood. As the founder advances in age, he hands his son responsibility for running the business. The family-run bakery becomes a fixture of the community landscape for [...]
The Elder Abuse Guide for Law Enforcement (EAGLE) is now available online. The guide is a national web module designed to support enforcement officers in identifying, intervening, and resolving cases of elder abuse.”
“EAGLE funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Justice and was led by the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, host of the National Center on Elder Abuse.”
Given Hackard Law’s efforts in applying elder financial abuse law to civil wrongdoers, this video will pay general attention to EAGLE’s section on Financial Elder Abuse and specific attention to Recognizing Abusers.
EAGLE defines Financial Elder Abuse as “Using an older adult’s money or assets (pension, home, socia[...]
This weekend I was a presenter at San Francisco Assessor Carmen Chu’s Family Wealth Workshop. The title of my presentation was Protecting Against Elder Financial Abuse. I was able to share stories with the community and they in turn shared stories with me. I find this the most gratifying part of these events.
One particular story touched my heart. Details of the story have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved. I hope that the spirit of the story stays intact in my telling.
I’ll call him Sam. He is approaching 80. He is retired. He is widowed. He has no children. Other members of his family are also elderly. He shares with me his fear – a fear that he cannot shake. While he has financial assets his ties to his lo[...]
We take our safety for granted – at home, at leisure and in the workplace. We shouldn’t.
There are men and women sworn to protect us – everyday they go to work knowing that they are at risk – and knowing better than others of the sacrifices that their own brothers and sisters in law enforcement make each day.
Yesterday our community lost one of its sworn protectors – a young man, recently married, strong in spirit and unwavering in commitment. Deputy Mark Stasyuk, just 27, serving the people of Sacramento in its Rancho Cordova community was struck down by a killer’s bullet.
Our governor has ordered our Capitol flags to fly at half-staff in the Deputy’s honor. It seems normal that we go about our everyday lives without[...]
The name John Seward Johnson probably means very little to you, but you’ve certainly know the company that Johnson’s father, Robert Wood Johnson, co-founded. That’s right – Johnson & Johnson, the maker of baby products we’ve all used for generations.
By the time Johnson died of cancer in 1983 at the age of 87, he left an estate of more than $400 million. Unfortunately for his heirs, he also left behind a complicated estate battle that took years and millions of dollars to sort out, mostly because his six children from two marriages alleged that Johnson was not mentally competent when he left his fortune to his third wife, Barbara Piasecka, a chambermaid, 42 years his junior, whom he married in 1971 with none of his children[...]
You know that something is wrong - something is just not right. How do you talk with a trust litigation attorney about trust issues when you know so little?
Maybe you don’t have a copy of the trust. Maybe you were frozen out of communication with your loved one over the last months – maybe years of his life. Maybe you weren’t even told of his death until days – maybe weeks from his passing.
How do you make sense of this? Well – let’s start with the truth that I’m just like you. I’m sure that if you’re a doctor, an electrician, a carpenter or computer programmer that I don’t know a thing about your field. I don’t even know what questions to ask about issues in your profession or career.
I feel a little embarrassed th[...]