I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. We respond to more than one thousand inquiries each year from potential clients. We share knowledge, and we also learn a lot from these inquiries.
Most questions concern estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation. Other callers seek recovery for catastrophic, unexpected, and disastrous injuries caused by others. There are no dumb questions.
We work to help, assist and advise. Not all inquiries turn into cases. Not all cases are accepted.
Those that are accepted require a meeting of minds, compliance with ethical standards, and consensus on going forward.
Today I’ll talk about a particular set of inquiries: Estate, trust and elder financial abuse. Knowledge of this area of law is not i[...]
California trust, estate & catastrophic injury litigation shifted dramatically in March 2020.
Standard approaches to disputed case resolutions are put to the test. Trial dates settle cases.
Covid impacts trial dates. Judges suspend, postpone, and defer 2020 trial dates into 2021. 2021 trial dates are now problematical.
Our clients depend on us to advance their cases. We accept the challenge.
When litigators are not in trial, they should be training for trial. The ultimate goal of trial training is to win cases.
Continued training is a commitment to excellence.
Continued training makes our adversary system of justice work.
Continued training benefits our clients.
New and existing clients deserve to kno[...]
Hello, I’m Mike Hackard. I lead a group of Hackard Law lawyers who civilly prosecute trust beneficiary and catastrophic injury claims in California’s Superior Courts. A significant part of our litigation involves the recovery of damages from defendants who’ve inflicted financial elder abuse on seniors. California, like many states, provides for strong damage remedies against financial elder abusers.
Our statute says that an elder financially abused by a defendant may recover compensatory damages as part of their lawsuit. Compensatory damages include both economic (what was physically taken or out of pocket losses) and noneconomic damages (widely referenced as physical pain, mental suffering and emotional distress).
I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. All trust beneficiary litigation, with its potent blend of family feuds, grief over loss, and conflict over money, is ultimately a quest for justice: the prevention of harm, protection of the victims, and pursuit of beneficiary rights.
An abused beneficiary experiences several emotions: a deep-rooted mix of family expectations, fear of rejection, and mourning. These cases stem from wrongdoing - from the violation of moral, family or legal rules.
Trustees who fraudulently or recklessly breach their duties of loyalty and fidelity may be liable for the emotional distress damages inflicted on the abused beneficiary. Lawsuits may be filed to prevent further harm to beneficiaries. To protect them from cont[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. I’ve had one goal over many decades of law practice – build an estate, trust and catastrophic injury firm that my own family would want to hire.
As a leading client-focused firm in Sacramento, we get hired by families in estate, trust and catastrophic injury disputes.
Results matter. Reputation matters. There’s only one Hackard Law.
Call us today at 916-313-3030.
Hackard Law: Attorneys Making a Difference.
Hi, I’m Mike Hackard. I’m a trial advocate. I love what I do.
It involves people. Lives rich in humanity. In stories that touch us. That reach across generations. These stories have characters, plots and motives – and mysteries.
Trust beneficiary litigation often involves, in the eyes of objective observers, innocent people. People that did no wrong. We’re tasked to speak for them - to do so with respect and humility.
To take facts and work them into a compelling narrative. Not to exaggerate. To admit mistakes. To not promise that which we can’t deliver.
It’s so important that I listen. That we listen. People make mistakes. Our clients make mistakes. Serious trust beneficiary litigation involves more than mistakes.
Hi, I’m Mike Hackard. I want to tell you about a son, we’ll call him Jacob, who had to sue his sister, Charlotte, to receive his inheritance. Their mom died earlier this year. Their mom’s California home, worth about a million dollars, is titled in a trust.
Jacob’s mom told him many times that the home would be sold after her death and the proceeds would be split equally between Charlotte and him. Charlotte has been living in the home over the past five years. Charlotte has difficulty in keeping jobs and was unemployed even before moving to their mom’s home. She continued to be unemployed. She lived off of her mom.
Charlotte will not let Jacob into the home. She’s prevented him from entering since mom’s February 2020 dea[...]
Hackard Law is welcoming Heath Langle to our estate and trust litigation team. Heath is well known in Northern California for his legal work in protecting heirs and beneficiaries in estates and trusts. He’s a Professor of Wills and Trusts at Lincoln Law School in Sacramento and studied at San Francisco State University for his undergraduate degree as well as receiving his Juris Doctor from Lincoln Law School in 2005. Heath was admitted to the California State Bar in 2006, both practicing law and eventually teaching classes on estates and trusts at Lincoln Law School.
We, along with our clients, look forward to having him as part of our litigation team – a team that works to protect and their families from financial elder abuse and wr[...]
You are the beneficiary of your father’s trust. You’re also the successor trustee. Your father created the trust. This makes him the settlor.
He is also the trustee. He manages the trust. He names himself as the trust’s primary beneficiary of the trust during his lifetime.
You become the successor trustee at his death. You now have the duties of management and administration. You and your three siblings are beneficiaries of the trust. You are not trained for this.
Trust assets include rental properties, the family home, and stocks and bonds. You have the duty to marshal the assets. This means you are to organize and ultimately distribute assets to creditors and beneficiaries.
Contractual or legal claims are also assets of [...]
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 [...]