Trusts & Estates Bulletin

A Compendium of Recent Cases

  Brought to you by LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section  *  Volume IV, Number 3  *  November 2008 
An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association  *  Contact Us  *  Join the T & E Section  *  Archived Issues

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Trusts & Estates Bulletin is published monthly by the Trusts & Estates Section, thanks to Co-Editors:
- David C. Nelson, Loeb & Loeb LLP,,
- Amy L. McEvoy, Sheppard Mullin,
- Nelson J. Handy, Fiduciary Law Services, Inc.,


Settlement Services:

Sometimes Our Clients Just Need to Talk

     We encourage practitioners to take advantage of the settlement conference services for probate matters at the Central Courthouse on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. This program is most beneficial if you and opposing counsel bring your clients to the hearing. At the hearing, let the clerk and the judge know that you would like to meet with the settlement officer.

     Sometimes clients just want the opportunity to have a third party hear them before they have to make a difficult decision. Even if settlement does not occur, participating in the informal mediation may allow your clients to determine what issues need to be addressed before they can reach a settlement in a future formal mediation or other settlement discussion.

     For more details of the settlement program, visit Probate Settlement Officers Panel, a link from the section's main Web page.

     Please send your suggestions and practice tips to:

     Thank you for your participation in the activities of the Trusts & Estates Section.

A Compendium of Recent Cases

Cases appear in chronological order, with the oldest case appearing first.

-Trusts and Estates-
Where purchaser defaulted on agreement to buy property from estate and property was resold at a lower price, Probate Code Sec. 10350(e)(1) authorized probate court to award estate damages in an amount equal to difference between defaulting and successful purchase prices. Because estate was entitled to retain defaulted buyer's deposit as statutory award for damages, it made no legal difference that deposit amount covered both estate's interest in property and that of co-owner because Sec.10350(e)(1) did not authorize a pro rata share of damages based on sellers' respective interests in the property.
     Estate of Felder - filed October 9, 2008, Second District, Div. Five
     Cite as 2008 SOS 5706

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-Government Law-
Where estate's property escheated, state was required to pay interest at one of two statutorily determined interest rates set forth in California Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 1540(c) for entire time period that unclaimed property was held by state. Even if estate had a cognizable property right to interest earned by escheated property and this property was "taken" by state, no further compensation as due to estate because when estate abandoned its property, estate forfeited any right to interest earned by that property.
      Turnacliff v. Westly - filed October 15, 2008
     Cite as 07-15287
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-Trusts and Estates-
Where trust beneficiary brought a "safe harbor" petition to determine whether he could seek a distribution from the trust without violating no-contest clause, and trustee filed a response affirmatively pleading that the proposed action would violate the clause, beneficiary’s subsequent purported withdrawal of the petition without prejudice was ineffective.
     Schwartz v. Schwartz - filed October 16, 2008, Fifth District
     Cite as 2008 SOS 5744

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Los Angeles County Bar Association
2008-09 Trusts and Estates Section Newsletter
Amy L. McEvoy, Co-Editor,  David C. Nelson, Co-Editor,    Nelson J. Handy, Co-Editor

Laura G. Conti

Jonathan L. Rosenbloom

Nelson J. Handy

Nelson J. Handy

Immediate Past-Chair
David C. Nelson

Section Administrator
Elise Green


Michael A. Abraham
Susan J. Cooley
Tala R. Davis
Linda N. Deitch
Sibyelle Grebe
Samuel D. Ingham III
Susan Jabkowski

Lawrence J. Kalfayan
Thomas H. Kenney
Jamie Lee Kim
Jane E. Kwon
Matthew W. Mc Murtrey
Amy L. McEvoy
Jacqueline Real-Salas
Leigh Shipp
Kira S. Vincze
Stuart D. Zimring

Barristers Liaison, Laura Narimatsu Wasserman
Liaison Beverly Hills Bar Association, Trudi Sabel Schindler
Ex Officio, James R. Birnberg
Ex Officio, John M. Byrne
Ex Officio, Leslie A. Parrish
Ex Officio, Nancy B. Reimann

Readers are advised that changes in the law may affect the accuracy of this publication or the functionality of links after the publication date.