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 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 beneficiaries in trust and estate litigation throughout California.
Imagine you’re at the bank, standing in line. Suddenly a robber bursts in waving a gun. “This is a stick-up!”, he yells, just like in the old movies. The robber empties out the bank’s vault and steals everyone’s cash.
Just as he’s about to escape, the police show up, sirens blaring. Thank goodness! But as the cops slap the cuffs down on the robber, he confidently exclaims: “At least I have a lot of money to defend myself!”
We’d all think the robber had a few screws loose, and of course the criminal justice system doesn’t work that way.
Amazingly, though, wrongdoer trustees can effectively get [...]
I’m Mike Hackard. I’m a lawyer. I resolve estate and trust beneficiary problems. Your problems.
Think of Hackard Law as a leading California beneficiary rights law firm that litigates to secure and protect beneficiary rights.
We think everyone deserves access to the best representation possible. Contingency fees can help our clients level the playing field against well-funded defendants.
Contingency fee agreements are negotiable. They must be in writing and describe how court costs and other expenses are handled.
If you’re a beneficiary of an estate or trust, and you want to discuss your rights, call us at Hackard Law: 213-357-5200.
We’ll be happy to hear from you.
Hackard Law: Attorneys Making a Difference
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. I’ve practiced law for 45 years.
Our YouTube channel is our effort to share the many lessons gained over those years. One lesson that I learned long ago has to do with letter writing. Clients come to us to solve a problem.
For many years I handled pharmaceutical cases for those injured by prescription drugs. Now, the common problem that we handle is the abuse or disinheritance of an heir or beneficiary.
We meet with our client. It’s a call, a zoom meeting, or a sit down. We hear their story. A caregiver, sibling, or stranger has a part in a disinheritance. A will or trust was suspiciously changed.
A property was deviously transferred. The actions were covert. In a sense, under the cover o[...]
This week, Sacramento’s ABC 10 (KXTV) launches an original five-part series on abuses within California’s conservatorship industry. Investigative reporter Andie Judson will go in-depth to cover serious regulatory issues and suspected cases of elder financial exploitation by bad conservators.
Hackard Law’s Michael Hackard was interviewed for this series and provided his knowledge and experience in representing elderly clients and their families against fiduciaries who have violated their professional duties and state law. Below you can find the text and trailer for ABC 10’s upcoming series:
COMING SOON: The Price of Care: Investigating California Conservatorships
COMING SOON | Many have heard of conservato[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading law firms in estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation.
This aspiration is fueled in part by a collective quest for justice, tolerance, and fair play. Fair play means the equal and honest treatment of others. Adherence to fair play helps to ensure fundamental freedoms, family dignities, and historic rights.
When fair play is discounted, unnoticed, or ignored, people suffer. The discovery of wrongdoing can have far-reaching consequences. The terms of public argument can change. We are now seeing this in California with regard to abusive conservatorships.
The #FreeBritney movement, coupled with the Netflix movie, “I Care a Lot,” have weak[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading estate and trust litigation law firms. I work at sharing knowledge that I’ve gained over the years in representing beneficiaries, heirs and personal representatives in estate and trust disputes.
Psychologists tell us that when we see unstructured messes that we instinctively look to find patterns and order. The patterns and order that we find may be meaningful. Maybe then again, not.
Nonetheless, most will agree that estate and trust disputes look like shapeless muddles. Being hardwired to look for patterns, I do. Long experience brings lots of opportunities to look and find patterns in seemingly unrelated events.
A common pattern in estate disput[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading estate and trust litigation law firms.
We often represent aggrieved beneficiaries and heirs. From the outside looking in, some of our clients may look like “poor little rich kids.” From the inside, we see that there are plenty of trustees who mishandle trust assets. Assets placed in trust to benefit a wealthy parent’s children at his or her death. I’ll give a few examples.
A wealthy father is dying. He’s unmarried. He has two children. He turns to an estate planner for help. The estate planner introduces him to a licensed California fiduciary. The licensed for-profit fiduciary advertises on her website that she is “compassionate.” He beli[...]