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 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. I’m an estate and trust beneficiary rights litigator with Hackard Law.
I became an attorney when Gerald Ford was President. Now, eight Presidents later, I’m still practicing law, and I still like it.
We represent clients in both Northern and Southern California’s largest trial courts. Our case load reflects real-world issues that Californians face.
It’s estimated that about 17% of people remarry after the first marriage ends. Stepmoms and stepdads’ relationships with their biological children and stepchildren are different. It can be challenging for a biological child to accept a second marriage. Difficulties can persist despite the good faith best efforts of all.
Some aspects of these difficulties [...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. Our YouTube videos deal with the challenges of elder abuse, estate litigation, and trust disputes.
We address inquiries from over twelve hundred people per year – many of whom have seen one or more of our videos. Most inquiries don’t turn into cases. But they do allow us to share useful information and help people who wonder if they have a case.
How do we make decisions as to whether we take a case? Effective decision making is a four-part process: We gather facts; apply our intuition; make a reasonable judgment; and see how what we know generally fits within legal authority.
For now, I’m only going to focus on intuition. Intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, witho[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. Our law firm litigates California will and trust disputes.
A will vests a decedent’s real and personal property in an executor. Executor may also mean administrator or personal representative.
An executor must deal fairly with all the beneficiaries of the estate. A beneficiary can set aside an estate sale to an executor if the executor did not deal fairly and fully disclose all relevant facts of the transaction.
The responsibilities of an executor generally involve three duties:
Take possession of the decedent’s real and personal property.
Pay the decedent’s debts.
Distribute the surplus, if any, in accordance with the will or the state rules of intestate succession.
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. I lead a California law firm that focuses on estate and trust litigation.
I like to share the most common reasons that clients reach out to us for help. In three brief words – “Trust beneficiary disputes.”
These disputes involve trustee removals, secrecy, mismanagement, delayed distributions, and disinheritance. They often include the financial abuse of an Alzheimer’s patient.
An elder had an existing trust – a trust made before an Alzheimer’s diagnosis or its symptoms. The Trust reflects the elder’s long time estate planning goals. Goals that include a parent’s desire to equally distribute her trust assets to her children.
The elder begins to suffer from Alzheimer’s symptom[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. Hackard Law litigates California estate and trust cases.
We’ve doubled down on how we litigate these cases – we’ve strengthened our commitment. In blackjack, “double down” means doubling a bet after seeing one’s initial cards. You’ve upped the ante and an additional card must be drawn.
We often take estate and trust litigation cases on a contingency fee. It too has risks and rewards.
We determine the initial set of facts. Facts include the parties, the assets, the activities that led to litigation, and the law. We consider whether we would accept the case on a contingency basis.
In contingency cases we lawyers don’t get paid unless we resolve, settle, or win the case. We gener[...]
I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. Hackard Law is a California law firm focusing on estate and trust litigation. This litigation includes turbulent business succession battles.
These clashes are ignited by contested wills or trusts. The controlling stake in a company, LLC, or partnership is the focus of the conflict. The route to resolution can be circuitous, emotional, and long.
Experience counts. If you or your family are facing an estate or trust related business succession battle, call us at Hackard Law: 916 313-3030. We’ll be happy to speak with you.
Hackard Law: Attorneys Making a Difference
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. I handled my first estate litigation case over 40 years ago. It was a disputed Will.
I learned a lot from that case. Since then, I’ve worked on several thousand cases on a contingency basis. We’ve found that trust, estate, and financial elder abuse cases often lend themselves to contingency arrangements.
California contingency fee agreements generally provide that a plaintiff is only responsible for paying their attorney if they resolve, settle or win the case. The payment is a percentage of the settlement or winnings.
These cases closely tie the lawyer’s interest with those of their client. Contingency fee cases help beneficiaries maintain an equal footing in our courts against those who [...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We litigate California estate and trust disputes.
More often than not, the asset in question is a house. Other common assets are bank accounts and securities.
It’s our job to keep up with the law and with changing trends. The ownership of crypto-assets is a changing trend.
Crypto-assets are going mainstream. Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange, estimates that 14% of American adults, roughly 21 million people, own cryptocurrency. This ownership rate is moving upward.
The asset-management industry is working to cash in on cryptocurrencies by launching new products. While progress is slow, there is progress. Cryptocurrency ownership will become more widespread.
This will be a challenge for th[...]