If you’re a wronged trust beneficiary or an injured disinherited heir, it’s important that you hire your lawyers, sooner, rather than later.
Witnesses move away. Memories wane. Evidence vanishes. Assets go missing.
To delay is deadly.
Hackard Law: For Abused Beneficiaries and Heirs.
All of us are now enduring the COVID-19 pandemic. And, while we’re in the same storm we’re in different boats. This is life. And in life we know that attitude counts. Particularly an attitude of gratitude.
Now, in my fifth decade of law practice, I’m reflecting upon how attitude affects legal cases. A victor attitude is an acceptance, an embrace, of our personal responsibility for our actions. It is not a false confidence. It doesn’t get lost in blame. It is a commitment to endure – to persevere.
For those grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition it is an expectation that God is at work in our lives – to heal, to mend, and to provide. We have all had challenging times – health, grief, and other losses.
And, in lookin[...]
Placer County is stunning – graced with a breathtaking national forest, picturesque parks and Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world. The county has a rich and storied past – and, a vibrant present. It is a great draw for people of all ages.
It’s population is over 400,000 people. About 20% of its residents are 65 years and older. It is this age group – seniors – who are sometimes targeted for elder financial abuse – financial exploitation by a wrongdoer who uses or takes the assets of a vulnerable elder adult for his or her own financial benefit. These takings can occur by outright theft, fraud, or even changes in estate plans.
One of the most tragic financial takings is that of the family home[...]
When someone wrongfully takes the family home in an estate or trust dispute, Sacramento heirs and beneficiaries end up frozen out and seemingly short of options.
Sacramento’s housing market has seen tremendous growth, and the median home value is just over $350,000. Unfortunately, higher real estate prices will tempt wrongdoers to steal the family home through fraud, undue influence and elder financial exploitation.
There are around 574,000 owner-occupied houses in Sacramento County, and residents 50 and older dominate ownership statistics at 65%. Senior citizens are more susceptible to fraud and undue influence, especially those suffering cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s or dementia, which means they’re more vulnerable to[...]
We have a cascade of coronavirus updates. Given our firm’s presence in litigating both probate and civil cases in California’s courts, we have an active interest in staying up to date how our judicial system is treating the coronavirus pandemic.
We collectively meet every Friday for a status review of cases and their scheduling requirements. Part of this review is an update of any changed court procedures. We can start with the highest court in the land.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Thursday, March 12, that it “will be closed to the public until further notice amid the coronavirus pandemic.” As of today, March 13, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego Courts are approaching the pandemic in different ways.
Class action lawsuits often result in settlements that remain in trust for the benefit of the class members. While this might seem the end of the story, it is far from it. The trustee is often invested with the discretion to determine settlement amounts for each class member and when to make their distributions. In some cases, the trustee even has the authority to invest trust funds to increase distributions (or to fund charitable causes pertinent to the settlement). This authority can affect the legal and financial rights of class members.
In some cases, a trust litigator must intercede on behalf of class members to protect their interests. The experienced Los Angeles trust litigation attorneys at Hackard Law also serve trust benefi[...]
California has incorporated scientific knowledge into statutes defining undue influence and financial exploitation of elders. These legislative efforts culminated back in 2014 with the effective application of the new California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. These statutes provide a powerful remedy against undue influence, including instances of deathbed transfers.
Undue influence is defined by California Probate Code Section 15610.70 as “excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person’s free will and results in inequity.” It includes four elements:
Vulnerability of the victim
Apparent authority of the influencer
Many beneficiaries of trust income do not realize the full extent of their legal rights regarding this income. While a trustee has some discretion to invest the principal value of trust property and distribute interest dividends amongst the trust beneficiaries, this authority is not unlimited. Beneficiaries who do not receive fair distributions of trust income have legal recourse against a trustee and, in some cases, may even be able to recover compensation from the trustee personally.
An experienced Santa Clara trust litigation attorney can help beneficiaries determine whether a trustee has violated their property rights, and how best to assert their rights in the future. At Hackard Law, we will listen to your story and recommend a cour[...]
Wills are often made months, years, or even decades before they are ever needed. This means that many are outdated by the time they are submitted to the probate court. Sometimes, this confusion can lead to bitter litigation that depletes the estate and impairs the property rights of all potential heirs. You can avoid this with effective planning and regular updates to estate planning documents.
The experienced probate litigation attorneys at Hackard Law focus on estate law. Santa Clara residents and their heirs can use their skills to protect their estates and rights.
Why Wills Can Easily Become Outdated
Many circumstances can make a will outdated, and render it partially—or wholly—invalid at the time of the death of the pe[...]
Trusts and wills are important legal tools that carry out a person’s wishes with respect to their property. When undue influence from an individual, group, or company overcomes a person’s will, some people can challenge these wishes in court. Proof of undue influence may invalidate a will or trust altogether.
Family members and friends should challenge trusts that undue influence helped to produce, because such trusts do not accurately reflect the wishes of the trust grantor. You can use litigation to promote the grantor’s wishes and protect that person from future undue influence. The experienced probate attorneys at Hackard Law focus on litigation of improper trusts and estates. They have the knowledge and skill necessary to [...]