Problem solving is often a function of experience. Tough cases test our ability to find the right solution. Dubious trust amendments present unique trials.
We litigate many California trust and estate contests. For us, many of these lawsuits are routine.
Sometimes the case circumstances are rare – seeming one-offs. More often, I feel like a surgeon removing his 400th appendix. I’ve been down this road before. I know the difference between the usual and the unusual.
Trust amendment challenges have some common beginnings. A parent makes a trust that is revocable during their lifetime. The parent is called the settlor.
The trust becomes irrevocable at the settlor’s death. There is some type of intervention after the formation[...]
Our elders are the custodians of memory - links to our past. They’re also keepers of family wealth.
They’ve been accumulating wealth longer. Aging brings more than wealth accumulation.
Almost 40 per cent of people over 65 experience some form of memory loss. It’s part of the normal aging process.
Vulnerability comes with age. And elders get targeted. They get manipulated.
This is not a small problem. Elder abuse, including exploitation, is experienced by 1 out of 10 people, ages 60 and older, who live at home. Financial abuse might involve home property transfers, bank account manipulations, power of attorney abuse, and changes in wills and trusts.
Those abused may not know it or may be too intimidated to report it. Rep[...]
You’re concerned – frustrated – baffled.
Your mom or dad is in failing health. Maybe they’ve been taken in a senior scam. Maybe their bills are piling up. They don’t remember how to pay them. Or they’ve left the stove on hours after cooking. You can fill in the blanks.
I saw this with my own mom. My friends have seen it with theirs. But you have not faced this before.
You talk with your mom or dad about your concerns. To them everything is fine. You have few people that you can talk to about this. So, you go online.
You see they’re lots of lawyers describing themselves as conservatorship attorneys. In California there are licensed fiduciaries. They advertise themselves as compassionate. You want to read the fine pr[...]
It’s a legal maxim that justice delayed is justice denied. This is particularly true for senior plaintiffs.
Defendants generally want to slow down litigation. The COVID-19 pandemic provides an even greater opportunity for delay. Access to courts is effectively blocked and justice is denied or at least substantially delayed to those who have been wronged.
A functioning civil justice system constrains predatory conduct. Our current system is not fully functioning. And, predatory conduct is not fully constrained.
California statutes can, under normal circumstances, provide some protection to seniors. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 36(a) allows a party 70 years or older to seek a civil trial preference. It’s not entirel[...]
Hi, I’m Mike Hackard. Our lawyers at Hackard Law litigate estate, trust and elder financial abuse cases for seniors and their families.
This summer we’re seeing an increase in elder exploitation – specifically the abuse of powers of attorney. It’s now been four months since Governor Gavin Newsom called for the isolation at home of all residents 65 years and older.
The Governor’s orders later expanded to affect all age groups. There have been unexpected drawbacks to the order and to similar orders throughout the world.
Experts say there is a “horrifying surge” in domestic violence around the world since COVID-19 lockdown policies went into effect. Growing numbers of domestic violence victims have been reported througho[...]
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[...]