I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading estate and trust litigation law firms. I work at sharing knowledge that I’ve gained over the years in representing beneficiaries, heirs and personal representatives in estate and trust disputes.
Psychologists tell us that when we see unstructured messes that we instinctively look to find patterns and order. The patterns and order that we find may be meaningful. Maybe then again, not.
Nonetheless, most will agree that estate and trust disputes look like shapeless muddles. Being hardwired to look for patterns, I do. Long experience brings lots of opportunities to look and find patterns in seemingly unrelated events.
A common pattern in estate disput[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading estate and trust litigation law firms.
We often represent aggrieved beneficiaries and heirs. From the outside looking in, some of our clients may look like “poor little rich kids.” From the inside, we see that there are plenty of trustees who mishandle trust assets. Assets placed in trust to benefit a wealthy parent’s children at his or her death. I’ll give a few examples.
A wealthy father is dying. He’s unmarried. He has two children. He turns to an estate planner for help. The estate planner introduces him to a licensed California fiduciary. The licensed for-profit fiduciary advertises on her website that she is “compassionate.” He beli[...]
I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. We work to be one of California’s leading estate, trust and catastrophic injury law firms. We regularly litigate cases on a contingency fee basis.
A contingency fee is an arrangement where the lawyer agrees to a fixed percentage of a case recovery. They’re negotiated arrangements.
California has particular requirements that are set out in statutory and ethical rules.
These rules must be followed when attorneys and clients enter into contingency fee agreements. Contingency fees allow people who cannot afford legal services to pursue litigation.
Some say that contingency fee lawyers are gamblers. I disagree. Chance-based gambling has outcomes that are uncertain. Outcomes that are based comple[...]
I’m Mike Hackard of Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading estate and trust litigation law firms.
We see a lot of cases. It’s not possible to take them all. In fact, we can only take a fraction of the cases offered us.
Time has its limits. Of course, litigation requirements have severe restrictions. Restrictions that we must meet in our current caseload. Restrictions we must consider in accepting new cases.
Still, we seek to serve as many clients as is reasonably possible. Our clients are often family members of the maker of a will or trust.
Surviving spouses have recurring legal issues. Spousal rights of election are commonplace. A spousal election arises when the maker of a trust or will indicates a be[...]
I’m Mike Hackard from Hackard Law. We work at being one of California’s leading trust, estate and catastrophic injury law firms. Part of this is being up to date on common legal issues.
Being up to date means sharing know-how. Being up to date means sharing learning. Being up to date means sharing experience.
A common problem that many trustees face is how to remove a holdover beneficiary from trust real property – most often the decedent’s former home. The beneficiary may have lived with the now deceased trust maker, or settlor, at the family home before the settlor died. The beneficiary may have moved into the home after the settlor died. Or, the beneficiary may have rented the home without the trustee’s consent to someone[...]
I’m Mike Hackard with Hackard Law.
Over many decades of law practice, I’ve had one goal – to build a plaintiff’s estate, trust and catastrophic injury firm that my own family would be proud to hire.
Families across California, including the Bay Area, Sacramento and Los Angeles, hire us in estate, trust and catastrophic injury cases. They’ve seen our leadership, commitment to clients and record of legal excellence.
Results matter. Reputation matters. There’s only one Hackard Law.
Call us today at 916-313-3030.
Hackard Law: Attorneys Making a Difference.
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[...]