I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We often represent beneficiaries in actions to compel distribution of trust assets.
The beneficiaries are usually family members. The trustee, the adverse party, is frequently a family member as well. The settlor, the maker of the trust, is normally a parent.
These cases rise from the failure of the trustee to distribute trust assets in a timely manner. Typical trust provisions require the trustee to terminate the trust upon the death of the settlor and distribute the assets outright and free of trust to the settlor’s beneficiaries – often the settlor’s children.
So, what happens? An example.
The settlor, the mother of three adult children, dies in 2016. The settlor’s son is named the[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We litigate California trust and estate real-life dramas. At their best, they embody tense conflict followed by resolution.
Anecdotes about real people or incidents can teach more than volumes of facts and figures. These stories are about trustees who drop the ball, fumble funds, and louse up trustee reporting and beneficiary distributions.
It starts with a trusting and caring parent who names the loved ones they want to receive their estate or trust possessions. They hope that they’ve named a trustworthy estate or trust representative to fulfill their intent.
And, in the great majority of cases these designated fiduciaries prove to be trustworthy. We litigate the exceptions to the rule.
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We regularly litigate family estate and trust disputes.
At its best, a dispute settlement may help the parties find a path to family healing. At its worst, hearts are hardened, and petty jealousy and arrogance spread.
I need only to look at the trust cases that we’ve litigated and are litigating to see how impasse, standoff, deadlock and sibling greed can enflame inheritance disputes. We can look to one of our oldest stories to explore family tragedies - Cain and Abel.
Cain, a farmer, is jealous of his brother Abel, a shepherd. Cain murders Abel, a murder often assumed stem from Cain’s jealousy over God’s favoritism of Abel.
Cain is questioned by God after Abel’s death. The Lord asked[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We litigate California estate, trust, and elder financial abuse cases.
Our cases enfold classic human dramas. Dislocation from families. Lives changed. Secrets revealed. Chaos.
Stepfamilies present particular dramas. Intestacy and stepchildren issues are one of them.
The characters and events depicted in this story are entirely fictional. The referenced law is real.
Ron and Sandy met in 2005. Ron had never been married. Sandy had been married. She and her first husband had three children. The first marriage ended soon after the third child was born.
Ron and Sandy married in 2006. They had little in the way of separate property. They worked hard and secured high paying Silicon Valley jobs[...]
I’m Mike Hackard from Hackard Law. Have you ever thought about your circle of competence?
The circle of competence is a formula for pursuing excellence popularized by billionaire businessman Warren Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger.
The concept is simple: each one of us has useful knowledge we can channel into success. This knowledge comes from multiple sources, including natural aptitude, training and experience.
At Hackard Law, trust and estate litigation is our circle of competence. It comes from decades of law practice, a passion for advocacy, and constantly sharpening our professional skills.
Charlie Munger puts it this way:
"If you play games where other people have the aptitudes and you don’t, you’re going t[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We represent clients in California estate, trust, and elder financial abuse litigation.
I’m often asked: “what is it that you do?” The short answer is “we litigate estate, trust, and elder financial abuse cases.” The answer raises another question: “What’s that?”
So, in explaining what we do, I’ll start with the famous Dragnet opening: “The story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Even better, let’s use a Dragnet parody opening: “The story you are about to see is fiction. The names are made up, but the problems are real.”
That’s really it. The problems are real. Let’s look at a common one: “The Entrepreneur’s Wi[...]
I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. One thing at Hackard Law I’m proud of is our estate and trust litigation videos on YouTube.
We’ve made over 700 videos, with seven thousand subscribers and over four and a half million views. Our videos focus on issues that families care about – trusts, estates, and elder financial abuse.
There are at least ten things that strike us, consciously or unconsciously, when we first answer a new client’s phone call.
One: The area code. You know how this goes. You see an area code displayed on your phone. I can recognize a number of them. Other times they seem peculiar.
This is not unusual. While we only practice law in California, we get calls from all over the country. I’ve also advised pe[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We represent beneficiaries in California estate, trust and elder financial abuse cases.
February is the month for Valentine’s Day, and romance scams are back in the news. A new Netflix documentary, The Tinder Swindler, shows how a smooth-talking, jet-setting fraudster conned multiple women out of an estimated $10 million dollars.
While the victims in this case were younger women, it’s worth remembering that the elderly are especially vulnerable to romance scams.
Whether it’s you or an elderly loved one, make sure to do your homework on potential romantic interests. Scammers are experts at emotional manipulation and use social media to their advantage.
Once they think they’ve establish[...]