I’m Mike Hackard. At 70, I count among America’s elderly. My work as a lawyer and author involves speaking out for the protection of the elderly. And it’s not just because I’m 70.
It’s because I know that life is a gift – for young or old. Our culture often minimizes the value of our elders. When challenged - silence can be overwhelming.
Pope Francis is a leading voice that challenges us to do better. He’s said that a society that doesn’t help and reach out to its elderly is “perverse.” A society that discards its elderly is one that “carries the virus of death.” This culture magnifies “the elderly’s anguish over being barely tolerated and abandoned.”
At Hackard Law, we fight for the elderly in Califor[...]
What is happening in California financial elder abuse law? We’re in the midst of an awakening in America. People now see more clearly the existence and frequency of the abuse of our seniors – elder abuse. This is not mere contrivance; the abuse of elders is a dark part of the human condition. Even Scripture warns against it: “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8.
The aging of America, the political and cultural power of the Baby Boomers, and the ease of information flow have come together as a catalyst for passing and implementing laws focused on protecting our older population. Such laws help to bring[...]
Today I was honored to speak to the West Sacramento Rotary Club on how to spot and prevent elder financial abuse. With our economy and society in an especially vulnerable state, the challenge of elder exploitation isn’t going away – and we need to be ready to tackle it head-on.
With its large population of senior citizens, California is a major flashpoint in this ongoing fight to protect our elderly loved ones. In my presentation I showcased ways to detect and stop wrongdoing drawn from my two books, The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse and Alzheimer’s, Widowed Stepmothers & Estate Crimes. The facts they share are more relevant than ever.
It was a pleasure speaking with West Sacramento’s Rotary C[...]
Placer County is stunning – graced with a breathtaking national forest, picturesque parks and Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world. The county has a rich and storied past – and, a vibrant present. It is a great draw for people of all ages.
It’s population is over 400,000 people. About 20% of its residents are 65 years and older. It is this age group – seniors – who are sometimes targeted for elder financial abuse – financial exploitation by a wrongdoer who uses or takes the assets of a vulnerable elder adult for his or her own financial benefit. These takings can occur by outright theft, fraud, or even changes in estate plans.
One of the most tragic financial takings is that of the family home[...]
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[...]
Elder abuse has become a more prominent issue in the United States. As the World War II and Baby Boomer generations age, the American population boasts more senior citizens than ever. These seniors are driving up the demand for estate planning services, healthcare services, assisted living facilities, and in-home care. Unfortunately, reliance on these service providers can also expose a senior citizen to the risk of abuse.
If you believe a loved one was victimized by physical, emotional, or financial elder abuse, contact the skilled elder abuse attorneys at Hackard Law as soon as possible. Their experience can help concerned family members and friends explore all possible options to determine the best method of protecting elderly lov[...]
When the term “elder abuse” comes up, many people think of egregious instances of physical or sexual abuse. But many other types of elder abuse can seriously harm some of California’s most vulnerable residents.
Financial abuse, for example, is also a serious problem that greatly harms elderly Californians. By learning about the risk factors of financial abuse and how to respond to it, you can protect your elderly loved ones from financial harm. A Santa Clara estate attorney can help you determine whether your loved ones fell victim to financial abuse, and what legal option will best enable you to protect them.
The Scope of the Problem
According to The Acorn, the current population of Americans ages 75 or older is one of the w[...]
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
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[...]
Respect for elders is a basic foundation of many cultures and religions. Its neglect or absence is traumatic and disheartening to both societies and families.
No doubt, aging brains bring many challenges to elders, their families, and caregivers.
Responding to the challenges can be awkward. Functional decline, dementia, and depression can make communication difficult. They can also make abuse, neglect and financial exploitation more likely.
I share these thoughts from experience in representing elders and their families who’ve suffered financial elder abuse. Sometimes it’s too late for us to do something about it. Sometimes we catch it just in time.
Whether the wrongful act is done, in process, or not yet started, we need to[...]