Trusts & Estates Bulletin

A Compendium of Recent Cases

  Brought to you by LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section  *  Volume IV, Number 4  *  December 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.,


Trusts & Estates Practice Tips:

     Tip #1:
In light of the Masry decision, counsel should consider whether the language of his or her trust documents is sufficient to make such document's stated method of revocation "exclusive."  The Court held that a trust provision whereby each settlor reserved "the right and power to revoke this Trust, in whole or in part, from time to time during their joint lifetimes, by written direction delivered to the other Trustor and to the Trustee" was not implicitly exclusive for purpose of Probate Code Sec. 15401(a)(2), which permits revocation of a revocable trust by a writing (other than a will) signed by the settlor and delivered to the trustee during the lifetime of the settlor, unless the trust specifies another method and makes it exclusive.   Masry v. Masry (2008) 166 CA 4th 738, 82 CR3d 915. 

     Tip #2:
Counsel may wish to advise his or her clients to consider whether to take this opportunity to transfer assets at reduced transfer tax costs in the current environment of depressed values, potentially greater fractional interest discounts and low interest rates.

     Tip #3:
Counsel may wish to advise his or her clients that a Decline-In-Value Reassessment Application regarding Los Angeles County California real property is due on or before December 31 for the fiscal year beginning on July 1. A decline-in-value occurs when the current market value of property is less than the current assessed value as of January 1. If the market value as of January 1 is less than the trended base value, assessed value will be lowered to the market value for the fiscal year beginning on July 1. Note that Proposition 8 reassessments are not permanent but last at least one year.


A Compendium of Recent Cases

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

-Trusts and Estates-
Where husband and wife entered into an inter vivos trust that became irrevocable upon death of either spouse, wife could not withdraw her share of community property from trust after husband’s death. Joint trust was irrevocable following husband’s death and precluded wife from withdrawing any property. Irrevocable trusts are binding, even on their trustors.
     Aguilar v. Aguilar - filed November 6, 2008, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as 2008 SOS 6103

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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.
The foregoing practice tips were prepared for information purposes only.  Such practice tips do not constitute tax, legal or other advice and no responsibility is assumed for any reliance upon them or with respect to assessing or advising the reader as to tax, legal, or other consequences arising from a particular situation. The accuracy of the information provided should be independently verified by the reader and should not be treated as authoritative.