I’m Mike Hackard from Hackard Law. I speak, write about and litigate California financial elder abuse cases. Given California’s burgeoning elder population, it is little wonder that people want to hear more about this subject. Financial elder abuse is surely on the rise.
The legislature is gradually responding to provide greater remedies against those who commit financial elder abuse. The civil law concepts giving rise to financial recovery are fairly straightforward. We will look at a case of undue influence that results in financial elder abuse.
So, in an effort for all of us to better understand the nature of financial elder abuse cases, let’s assume a set of facts. The facts that we are assuming reflect common scenarios in this [...]
Five years ago California’s Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act became law. It has provided victims and their families a way to fight back against perpetrators of elder financial abuse in civil court. While the law is a tremendous first step, there is still much work to be done. Newly released data suggests that the reality of elder exploitation isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, the threat is growing.
Just this week, the Treasury Department announced that it had recorded a record-breaking 24,454 suspected cases of elder financial abuse, over twice the number from five years prior. Why is elder financial abuse becoming more common? California and the nation are in the midst of a major demographic shift. Everyday 1[...]
If you have an elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s, you’ll know how important it is to look after their safety. It’s easy to worry. Maybe your parent or grandparent has left the stove on while cooking, unintentionally causing a fire hazard. Maybe they’ve wandered off in the neighborhood, only to be found and returned hours later by a good Samaritan. In the same way, a senior suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or Lewy body dementia is especially vulnerable to elder financial abuse.
Cognitive decline in the elderly affects all areas of their life, and that holds true for financial accounts, estates and trusts. There are unscrupulous predators who jump at the chance to take advantage of the elderly, the confused, the lonely. To mos[...]
I listen to hundreds of stories every year. There are dozens of cases for every element of vulnerability. The stories surrounding each element often provide a foundation for the failure of an estate plan that someone tried to make bulletproof.
So what kind of stories do I hear about capacity and the other elements of an undue influence claim? Let’s start with capacity, which is where estate and trust litigators first look. For wills the standard questions are whether the individual had sufficient mental capacity to be able to understand the testamentary act, the nature of their property and the memory of the individual’s relations to their family. I hear plenty of stories where the individual thinks that their long-deceased spouse is l[...]
Recently American radio legend Jim Bohannon interviewed me on my book The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse. Financial exploitation of seniors poses a threat to our families and communities, and wrongdoers continue to prey on our elderly loved ones.
Jim asked me a great question: What steps can we take to protect ourselves and our relatives from elder financial abuse? Here are some concrete measures I outlined:
Create a trust. You as the maker of the trust can become the trustee and control accounts and real property.
In case of incapacitation, a successor trustee you appoint can manage your trust.
Be transparent with relatives and communicate on your estate plan.
Have a power of attorney. There is a medi[...]
Michael Hackard, author of The Wolf at the Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse, was recently interviewed by KUSI TV - San Diego on how to keep seniors safe from financial exploitation. A big thank you to KUSI and Carlos Amezcua!
As many as one in ten seniors are victims of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. We're going to talk about how to recognize the signs and what to do if you expect someone you love is being abused. That's coming up on Good Morning San Diego.
Carlos Amezcua: Elder abuse affects an estimated ten percent of seniors. Mental and physical impairments make them especially vulnerable to financial abuse. Here to talk about the problem and how it can be prevented is Michael Hackard. He's an attorney and the a[...]
Californians have increasing concern over the frequency of elder financial abuse. The concerns are reasonable and prudent. California’s 65 and over population is 14% of the state’s overall population – that’s over 5 million people.
The American Bar Association (ABA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) published a handbook in 2005 titled “Assessment of Older Adults with Diminished Capacity: A Handbook for Lawyers.” The Handbook is still in wide use today. The Handbook’s breadth could give rise to dozens of videos as well as multiple articles. This short commentary is not broad based – it only focuses on what the Handbook has to say about an elder’s functional abilities related to Financial Capacity.
Hackard Law is proud that Michael Hackard was recently a guest on KTXL Fox 40 to discuss elder financial abuse and undue influence. Michael spoke with anchor Simone de Alba about how to safeguard your loved ones from exploitation. A special thank you and credit to Simone de Alba and Fox 40!
Paul Robins: Each year the rate of financial exploitation is extremely high, with one in 20 older adults saying they've been mistreated. Simone de Alba is in the newsroom now with the tips on how to prevent this kind of financial abuse.
Simone de Alba: Paul, thank you for joining me today. I've got Michael Hackard with Hackard Law in Mather. Thank you for joining us today.
Thank you for having me. This is really, really interesting, also startling - s[...]
Every year in Los Angeles, elder financial abuse defrauds our senior citizens, stealing away hard-earned retirement income and decades of savings. Families, communities, and the local economy all suffer from this form of financial exploitation. There's plenty more than money involved, though - the well-being of our elderly loved ones and neighbors is on the line. As estate and trust litigation attorneys, we represent beneficiaries and heirs whose rights have been violated, and if necessary we hold perpetrators of elder financial abuse accountable in a court of law.
As the largest and most populous county in California, Los Angeles also has a growing number of senior citizens. In order to prevent elder financial abuse, LA residents have to [...]
Hackard Law is a California trust, estate and elder financial abuse litigation law firm. Our lawyers respond to about 1000 new prospective client calls per year. Sometimes we think that we’ve seen and heard about everything. And, of course we haven’t. But I do want to talk about something that I’ve seen and heard a lot about. That is the abuse or outright fraud associated with a California durable power of attorney.
So let’s start with what it is – A durable power of attorney is a document signed by a principal to authorize another person to act for him or her with regard to financial and legal affairs. The power can be revoked at any time as long as the maker is competent.
For decades Flying magazine has had a column titled “[...]