Scott and Ascher on Trusts is widely regarded as the leading American authority on the law of trusts. That’s why I keep its set of eight volumes on my desk and within easy reach.
It’s full of practical advice on protecting the rights of beneficiaries and would-be beneficiaries. I read it regularly and search for insights that might have eluded me.
Trust challenges, for the most part, arise from the actions of an existing trustee or prior actions of beneficiaries that unduly influenced the trustor – the maker of the trust. Most of these trusts have more than one beneficiary or would-be beneficiary who can sue to overturn, enforce or otherwise affect the trust and the distribution of trust assets.
My early conversations with a [...]
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[...]
I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. California is my home and has been for all of my life. I went to college and law school here. We’ve raised our family in my hometown of Sacramento.
It’s a privilege for me to serve the California community from our office right here in Sacramento County.
I have an AV Preeminent Rating granted by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™. This rating is limited to an elite group of approximately 10 percent of all attorneys. And, I’ve earned this rating for decades. If you have a trust, estate, or financial elder abuse dispute, call us at 916-313-3030 or visit hackardlaw.com.
You’ll get the understanding and experience of a local team and the power of a law firm that litigates for clients [...]
I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. California is my home and has been for all of my life.
I went to college and law school here. We’ve raised our family here in Sacramento. It’s a privilege for me to serve the California community from our office right here in Sacramento County.
I have an AV Preeminent Rating granted by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™. This rating is limited to an elite group of approximately 10 percent of all attorneys. And, I’ve earned this rating for decades.
If you have a trust, estate, or financial elder abuse dispute, call us at 916 313-3030 or visit hackardlaw.com. You’ll get the understanding and experience of a local team and the power of a law firm that litigates for clients through[...]
Estate planning meltdowns touch many families. – small and large. Celebrity estate fights spotlight the mishaps of the rich and famous. But, far more common misfires hit the local probate court docket with little fanfare.
Little fanfare does not mean little pain. Family members fighting to reverse unexpected transfers of a deceased family member’s assets feel deep wounds. These wounds may flow from betrayal, duplicity, even treachery.
These are strong words. Do case facts mirror such words? Let’s look at one common scenario and see.
Second-family disputes occupy their share of court dockets. We know that divorce is an American constant. Some 50% of marriages end in divorce. And, many divorced men and women remarry.
Do you have to do probate when someone dies?
When someone in your family dies in California, you do not have to do probate unless they die without a will. This is called dying “intestate.” A Sacramento, California, estate litigation attorney can help you draft a will and/or create an estate plan to prevent your family from going through probate.
People sometimes believe that they do not need a will unless they are wealthy or own significant assets. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Creating a will or estate plan not only provides a roadmap for the distribution of your possessions after you die – even if they are modest assets – but also spares surviving family members from having to endure the time-consuming and[...]
“Nothing gained, much lost” describes lost opportunity. In our field of estate, trust, and elder financial abuse litigation, it can describe lawsuits gone wild.
Most estate and trust litigants have not experienced the rigors of litigation. Once experienced, few would describe it as fun. They might describe it as a necessary choice.
Undue influence on elders that results in estate, trust or elder financial abuse is often the lawsuit’s catalyst. Once started, lawsuits should not take on a life of their own. Civil litigation is designed to gain civil ends. Not to become life’s sole focus.
The common end is the recovery of money or real property. And, the recovery is often following a pretrial settlement. Some 97% of all civil [...]
It’s easy to love a winner. And, in its own way it’s easy for a lawyer to represent a winner - the rich - the powerful.
They pay well. They bring prestige - credibility. They may have some powerful allies. That said, our heart is often with the underdog.
Films capture this well. Rudy, thought too small to play college football, overcomes the odds and fulfills his dream of playing for Notre Dame. Rocky, a poor South Philly small-time boxer, gets a chance to fight a heavy-weight champion. Dr. Richard Kimble, “The Fugitive,” unjustly accused of killing his wife, fights against all odds to find the real killer while escaping a nationwide manhunt.
Some of our estate and trust litigation cases might well be title “Against All O[...]
I’m Michael Hackard. For over 40 years, I’ve had the opportunity to help you in your most difficult times.
And wrongful estate, trust and elder financial abuse takings may happen in a matter of days but the impact on a family, loss of income and assets, can last a long time – maybe a lifetime.
Our job is to make sure that your justice compensates your family for its losses and protects them from further injuries.
Remember, we’re not just lawyers. We’re your lawyers.
Hackard Law: For Abused Beneficiaries and Heirs.
When an elder suffers financial abuse, it’s more complicated than just how much was taken.
Many times it involves a caregiver, an elder adult impaired by dementia or Alzheimer’s, a wrongful transfer of property either before or after the older adult’s death – it’s so important to get the facts right as soon as possible.
Our estate and trust litigation lawyers need to be investigating these cases – day one.
All trust litigation cases are not the same.
Time is of the essence.
Hackard Law: For Abused Beneficiaries and Heirs.