Hackard Law

Estate Planning, Business Law, & Civil Litigation Lawyers in Mather, California

Hackard Law

10630 Mather Boulevard
Mather, California 95655

Phone(916) 229-6991
Fax (916) 226-5177

Website www.hackardlaw.com
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Law Firm Overview

Hackard Law, PLC is a probate and estate litigation and planning, elder and business law, civil litigation, and real estate law firm located in Mather, California and serving clients in the Greater Sacramento area and throughout Northern California.
Our practice areas encompass wills and trusts, guardianship disputes, powers of attorney, asset protection, life care and health planning, landlord-tenant law, real estate transactions, joint ventures and business partnerships, business formation and bankruptcy/debt, contracts, and other civil litigation.

Highly regarded by clients and peers, founding attorney Michael Hackard has been serving clients for nearly four decades. He and his team are highly skilled and experienced litigators in federal and state courts.

Litigation can be factually and legally complex as well as financially and emotionally demanding. Whether representing individuals or small and large-scale businesses, the Hackard Law team is dedicated to creating solutions and protecting their clients’ best interests in a variety of matters.

Languages: Hmong, Russian, Spanish, German, English

Areas of Law

Additional Areas of Law: Elder Abuse; Bankruptcy and Debt; Business Partnerships; Property Crimes; Self-Defense; Health Care Public Policy; Defense of Guarantors; Probate and Estate Litigation; Will and Trust Contests; Guardianship Disputes; Out-of-State Clients; Advance Health Care Directives; Durable Powers Of Attorney; Business Succession Planning; Defense of Guarantors; Real Estate Purchases and Sales; Secured Lending; Restructures and Workouts; Renegotiation of Guarantees; Actions on Guarantees; Adversary Claims; Breach of Contract; Fraudulent Transfers; Medi-Cal Planning; Disability Planning; Life Care Planning; Health Care Directives; Durable Power of Attorney; Estate Administration.

Areas of Law Description

Litigation can be factually and legally complex and financially and emotionally demanding - not every lawyer out there has the experience and knowledge to successfully litigate, especially in the fields of estate, trust and probate law. That's where Hackard Law works to make a difference: we regularly represent individuals, heirs and beneficiaries in estate, trust and probate litigation. This includes the representation of trustees, co-trustees, administrators and executors in Northern California.

- Financial Abuse of the Elderly
Hackard Law frequently prosecutes wrongdoers in civil court - those who have stolen or concealed the assets of elderly persons and their estates. Fraud against the elderly is an epidemic in America. We are honored to do justice for the aggrieved elderly and their families.

- Will Contests
Hackard Law vigorously prosecutes Will Contests, including petitions for revocation, interpretation and validity. These estate fights can result from fraud, lack of testamentary capacity or undue influence. Unequal estate shares between siblings also lead to disputes, especially when the inequality results from undue influence by one sibling against others. Exclusion from a Will or Trust is also a typical cause for a dispute. Some Will Contests will simply focus on the interpretation of testamentary documents.

- Trust Contests
Hackard Law prosecutes and defends Trust Contests, including petitions to determine and enforce the rights and obligations of beneficiaries and trustees. Trust Contests, like Will Contests, often deal with testamentary capacity and potential undue influence. Petitions for accounting and resignation, replacement and removal of Trustees, etc. are part and parcel of Trust Contests.

- Creditors’ Claims
Claims against the estate can not only be genuine, but also necessary for legitimate recovery. Conversely, some wrongdoers will make false claims on an estate - and these false claims must be defended.

- Power of Attorney Issues
Estates can often be ransacked through the unjust use of powers of attorney before the decedent's death. These cases present certain challenges for discovery. These problems are not impossible to resolve - but they're still serious and require legal resources.

- Real Estate Partition Actions
The heirs of an estate may inherit real property that sometimes owned with other individual(s). If one or more of the owners desire to sell that property while some don't, court order sale of the asset may be necessary. California law applies particular rules to a Partition action between the holder of a life estate and the owners of the remainder interest.


Michael Hackard Mr. Michael A. Hackard
Business Law, Estate Planning, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death



  • State Bar of California
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

More Information on Hackard Law

Estate Planning
Elder Abuse
Elder Law
Will and Trust Contests
Business Law and Contracts
Probate and Estate Litigation
Hackard Law Blog

Articles Published by Hackard Law

 What is the “Residue” of a California Probate Estate?

What does residue mean as a legal definition, and how is it important in a California probate lawsuit?

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 A House Divided: Avoid Estate Planning Disaster

Your relative's estate plan is a mess - but your family doesn't know this yet. Planning isn't really the problem: there is no planning. And if there's no planning, then a house will pose a special challenge.

Read Article

 The Widowed Stepmother: Big Trust and Estate Fights Ahead

Call it an "Aha! Moment." I am reading the latest summary sheet of our law firm's disputed probate, estate and trust cases and come across an insight and observation that should have been obvious -but it wasn't. About 50% of our active disputed estate cases involve litigated differences between stepmothers and their stepchildren.

Read Article

 Abused Beneficiaries: Decoding the Language of Probate and Trust Litigation

In California as elsewhere, most people are generally unwilling participants in estate disputes. There's no difference whether the dispute entails trust litigation, probate litigation or a Will Contest.

Read Article

Videos Provided by Hackard Law

Homes Are High Stakes LA Trust & Estate Litigation

Step back in time a few years - California's new law on the definition for undue influence and financial elder abuse is not yet in place - and California courts, attorneys, plaintiffs and defendants operate with an undue influence definition that dates from 1872 unchanged. Los Angeles area families fighting to protect family members from elder financial abuse lack important tools to bring wrongdoers to justice.
In January 2014, a law became effective that incorporates up-to-date scientific knowledge in crafting California's significant overhaul of the definition of undue influence. The law now provides that undue influence is "excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person's free will and results in inequity." Such inequity may include the "economic consequences to the victim" and "any divergence from the victim's prior intent or course of conduct or dealing."

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/05/homes-are-high-stakes-in-los-angeles-trust-estate-litigation.shtml

Elder Financial Abuse Lawsuits LA Trust & Estate Litigation

As elder financial abuse attorneys for Los Angeles, we represent trust beneficiaries and estate heirs whose rights have been violated by a wrongdoer. And when it comes to cases of financial exploitation of seniors in LA, the news is worrying for families who want to protect vulnerable loved ones.
The elderly population in areas of Los Angeles has been increasing at rates between 50 and 99 percent, and that means that incidents of elder financial abuse are also increasing in frequency. One of the most tragic aspects of this phenomenon is that more often than not, perpetrators of abuse are family members. According to statistics from the National Center on Elder Abuse, 60 percent of the time, the perpetrator is a family member, while two-thirds of these perpetrators are adult children or spouses...

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/05/elder-financial-abuse-lawsuits-la-trust-estate-litigation.shtml

Trust & Estate Litigation Cases Sacramento and Los Angeles

News of family trust, estate and probate disputes does not always travel fast. The sounds of family battles are initially muted by disbelief, family shame and reticence to fight against a family member amidst the grief of the moment. Our instinct is often that the dignity and desire for family unity will overcome disharmony and unresolved family differences.
Estate, trust, and elder financial abuse litigation unfolds in various scenarios. Estate participants become entangled in a process that their lawyers grapple with in California Superior Courts’ probate or civil divisions. Access to the court system itself can become problematical because of the expense of litigation. California Trust and estate litigation law firms like Hackard Law often work with plaintiffs and petitioners on a contingency fee basis – a fee arrangement with a number of California law requirements. Such attorney-client fee arrangements help impoverished wronged beneficiaries to get their day in court...

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/05/trust-estate-litigation-cases-sacramento-and-los-angeles.shtml

Thefts from Trusts & Estate Fraud Los Angeles Probate Litigation

As the largest city in California, Los Angeles is ground zero for theft from trusts and fraud against the elderly, also known as elder financial abuse. Los Angeles County is home to a large senior population, and by 2020 it's set to increase by 43%. With this figure in mind, families must ensure that their elderly loved ones are safeguarded against exploitation and undue influence.
All too often I've seen cases of vulnerable elders who were tricked or pressured into changing their will or trust to overwhelmingly benefit one family member or an estate interloper. I've also witnessed how wrongdoers have hidden or altered estate and trust documents in
order to hijack assets, property, and even entire houses that never belonged to them in the first place. While the variations are numerous, the same tragic story plays out over and over again...

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/05/thefts-from-trusts-estate-fraud-los-angeles-probate-litigation.shtml

Los Angeles Trust Beneficiaries Guard Your Rights Under CA Law

There are several popular television commercials featuring "Captain Obvious" - a character who states self-evident facts. Even Captain Obvious might find it difficult to easily identify California litigators for complex trust, estate and elder financial abuse matters. While The State Bar of California's Board of Legal Specialization certifies specialists in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, the certification does not extend to trust and estate litigation. In fact California has no legal specialization in estate and elder financial abuse litigation.
So if you're in Los Angeles and believe that you need an estate & trust litigation lawyer, there are several places to turn. SuperLawyers has a Lawyer Directory listing "Estate and trust litigation attorneys (who) primarily represent clients in lawsuits over estate and trust assets or distributions." So if you go to the directory you can do searches by "top cities" or "states and regions." Los Angeles is one of the top cities, and there are over 150 lawyers identified as a "Top Rated Estate & Trust Litigation Lawyer..."

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/05/los-angeles-trust-beneficiaries-guard-your-rights-under-ca-law.shtml

Disputed Trust & Estate Bank Accounts CA Probate Litigation

Determining actual ownership of bank accounts after the death of a loved one can be challenging. There can be real differences in what the parties to the accounts, the beneficiaries of a trust, and the heirs of an estate believe and what they want. It is difficult at times to find a blueprint in which to operate.
A 2017 California Court of Appeal decision (Higgins v. Higgins) helps to identify some basic guideposts for ownership determination. The case arose from a lawsuit brought by the personal representative of an estate against a wife who agreed to hold funds in trust for her husband's stepmother. After her husband's death she changed the form of the accounts and used the funds for her own purposes. The Appellate Court concluded that the wife held the funds in the accounts in trust for the stepmother and the transfer of the accounts into her own name and use was a wrongful act supporting the imposition of a constructive trust...

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/05/disputed-trust-estate-bank-accounts-ca-probate-litigation.shtml

Stopping Undue Influence & Estate Theft CA Probate and Trust Litigation Attorneys

Family members of elderly victims of undue influence - a phenomenon often connected with elder financial abuse - recoil in disbelief when learning of an elder's coerced gift or bequest property transfers. This disbelief gives way to hurt and outrage as the estate thief makes brazen, insincere and false claims to the estate. It's our job as probate and trust litigation attorneys to systematically gather supporting evidence to overcome the actions of estate thieves. Developing these cases often depends on claims of undue influence.
"Undue influence" in California means excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person's free will and results in inequity. California law considers a number of factors in determining whether an estate transfer was produced by undue influence...


Los Angeles Trust Litigation Attorney Asking the Right Questions

Every week at Hackard Law, we receive fifteen to twenty new calls from prospective estate, probate, and trust litigation and elder financial abuse clients, many of them from the Los Angeles area. This is a process that we both enjoy and learn from.
Given the volume of calls, it is important that we ask questions that get right to the heart of the matter. Our prospective LA clients often say that "I don't know where to start" and this is "really complex," when explaining a trust dispute or how someone took financial advantage of their elderly loved one. We've found that the best way to deal with this complexity is to break down voluminous facts into simple-to understand-categories. We use the "Five Ws" to simplify this process...


Serving Baby Boomers CA Estate & Trust Litigation Attorneys

So it's May 2017. We're really busy here at Hackard Law. Our lawyers and paralegals are covering the multitude of tasks that are tied to estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation. On any given day, one or more of us will be in a meeting with new clients, fielding phone calls from prospective clients, preparing for a mediation, attending a morning probate calendar, taking a deposition, sending and responding to discovery, traveling to one of California's urban Superior Courts or preparing for a multi-week jury trial.
The California Department of Aging projects that our elderly population is expected to grow more than twice as fast other age groups in California. This population growth among our seniors is reflected in the increasing incidence of elder financial abuse. Our laws provide some strong remedies for the abuse, but unfortunately the remedies may be too late - the horse is already out of the barn...

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/05/serving-baby-boomers-ca-estate-trust-litigation-attorneys.shtml

Can I Get an Amen? The Power of Client Testimonials

It doesn’t matter who we are – when we are looking for a doctor, dentist, or lawyer we’ll check with our friends and relatives to see who they use. We ask questions like, “How long have you been going to her?” And, “Do you trust her?” And if it’s not too personal – “What dental (or other professional work) did you have done?”
At Hackard Law we focus our practice on a narrow but critical field – estate, trust, probate and financial elder abuse litigation. We litigate in most of California’s large urban areas. People for the most part find us online. This is understandable as most people don’t have friends or relatives who have either experienced trust or estate litigation or if they have experienced it they don’t want to talk about it. Let’s face it – these family fights are not pleasant and if we’re in them we don’t like to advertise it...

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/05/can-i-get-an-amen-the-power-of-client-testimonials.shtml

Untold Stories of Family Estate Disputes CA Probate Litigation

In any family there should be love, compassion and loyalty. Yet in just about every family there can also be estate fights. The problem with long-hidden family conflicts is that when they surface, it often seems too late for reconciliation. Secrets and untold stories tend to come up on deathbeds and ride in on the aftershocks of loss. From false promises to theft, the real question is not "Can this happen to you?", but rather, "Is someone taking financial advantage of your vulnerable elderly parent or relative?" We all want to, but with trust lawsuits here in California, sometimes we learn the hard way that life isn't that simple.
Conflicts over trusts and estates can appear from nowhere; family members might never even realize they were deceived until everything they had expected as a lawful inheritance was taken from them. As estate litigation attorneys, we've seen previously-unknown relatives and "friends" come out of the woodwork to claim a deceased parent's house, cash or other assets. At times bad actors even attempt to hide will or trust documents. Wealth within reach creates a temptation for those willing to manipulate, lie, cheat or steal. Such episodes of wrongdoing form the untold stories of estate and trust disputes within families.

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/05/untold-stories-of-family-estate-litigation.shtml

Los Angeles Trust Litigation Contingency Fees & Your Case

No one likes to be treated unfairly. We all have our stories when we've suffered an injustice, from being kids in school to our adulthood. And it's no different when you're a trust beneficiary whose rights have been violated. Los Angeles estate and trust litigation is a challenging field where you'll need an attorney with experience and the right skills to safeguard your interests. At Hackard Law, we represent LA-area clients who have been frozen out of their inheritance - maybe a bad trustee has overstepped their bounds, or a wrongdoer has committed elder financial abuse. It's our job to prevent any further harm to our client and to right the wrong.
When potential clients call to speak with me, they've already been through a range of emotions. They're experiencing everything from grief at the loss of a loved one to anger and frustration that someone they may have trusted - whether a caregiver, a stepmother, or even a sibling - wrongfully took estate assets from the family...

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/05/los-angeles-trust-litigation-contingency-fees-your-case.shtml

The Power of Video CA Estate & Trust Litigation

I’ll soon be speaking at a legal conference on the power of video. I plan to tell other lawyers that our videos empower me to speak directly to the people that we serve. They see me as I am. No slick ad men to interfere with our message. We’re committed to excellence and service to our clients. It’s that simple. We then invite people to call us to talk about their case. It isn’t all that fancy and I don’t want it to be. If you have a California estate or trust litigation case, you can call us at Hackard Law: 916-313-3030. I’ll be happy to speak with you.

LA Probate & Trust Litigation Contingency Fees

Los Angeles probate litigation is a tug of war between risk and reward. If you are facing an estate fight in the Los Angeles area, you hire an experienced lawyer to solve problems. You deserve to know what it might take to succeed. What are the risks? What are the rewards? Attorney's fees are part of the risks in reaching for the rewards.

If you need to fight the unjust actions of an estate wrongdoer but don't have the money to hire a qualified attorney, where do you turn? Beneficiaries in an LA trust dispute or will contest may already be frozen out from their rightful inheritance - this freeze-out includes barred access to the resources to assert their rights in court. Contingency fees allow wronged heirs and beneficiaries to gain a fighting chance for recovery of assets...

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/04/los-angeles-probate-trust-litigation-contingency-fees.shtml

Elder Abuse Red Flags CA Litigation Attorneys

Every community has a duty to protect its most vulnerable members, and that duty falls to each one of us. If we see a small child endangered, we know we have to act to protect that child and prevent further harm. The same rule applies for those who are less noticed in our society but just as vulnerable: the elderly. Senior citizens represent a growing segment of our population, and as their numbers increase, so too does the likelihood of their exploitation by predators. Elder abuse is a clear and present danger to California families, and the more we're informed on its warning signs, the better the chance we have of stopping it...

Read more: http://www.hackardlaw.com/blog/2017/04/elder-abuse-red-flags-ca-litigation-attorneys.shtml

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