Trusts & Estates Bulletin

A Compendium of Recent Cases

  Brought to you by LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section  *  Volume IV, Number 6  *  February 2009 
An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association  *  Contact Us  *  Join the T & E Section  *  Archived Issues

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Case Summaries


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


A Compendium of Recent Cases

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

-Trusts and Estates-
Because preparation of an accounting and responding to beneficiaries' objections to that accounting were aspects of trust administration, and attorney hired by trustee to aid in administering trust was entitled to reasonable fees, trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering reasonable attorney fees be paid from trust assets as fees were incurred before a determination was made as to validity of beneficiaries’ objections. Nothing in Probate Code or case law required attorney to await a final adjudication of beneficiaries' claims against trustee to receive compensation. Probate court had authority to order beneficiaries to return a portion of distributed trust assets to compensate trustee’s attorneys in ongoing dispute over accounting because trustee had an inherent and equitable right to be reimbursed all expenses incurred in trust’s execution, although beneficiaries can seek reimbursement from trustee at conclusion of case should beneficiaries prevail on claim against trustee for breach of fiduciary duty and excessive expenses.
     Kasperbauer v. Fairfield - filed January 26, 2009, Second District, Div. Six
     Cite as 2009 SOS 528

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-Trusts and Estates-
Spouse's written premarital waiver of inheritance rights, signed by spouse and complying with Probate Code Sec. 144, was enforceable regardless of whether the document containing the waiver was enforceable as a prenuptial agreement under Family Code Sec. 1615.
     Estate of Will. - filed January 27, 2009, Second District, Div. Six
     Cite as 2009 SOS 571
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-Trusts and Estates-
Where state prison inmate embarked on a hunger strike based on delusional beliefs, inmate’s decision was not based on a rational thought process, and therefore, under Probate Code, inmate lacked mental capacity to refuse nourishment and medication prison doctors sought to compel inmate to take.
     Conservatorship of Burton - filed January 28, 2009, Fifth District
     Cite as as 2009 SOS 621

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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
Sibylle 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.