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 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 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 clients in California estate, trust, and elder financial abuse litigation.
I’m often asked: “what is it that you do?” The short answer is “we litigate estate, trust, and elder financial abuse cases.” The answer raises another question: “What’s that?”
So, in explaining what we do, I’ll start with the famous Dragnet opening: “The story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Even better, let’s use a Dragnet parody opening: “The story you are about to see is fiction. The names are made up, but the problems are real.”
That’s really it. The problems are real. Let’s look at a common one: “The Entrepreneur’s Wi[...]
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 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 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. 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. 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[...]