Trusts & Estates Bulletin

A Compendium of Recent Cases

  Brought to you by LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section  *  Volume IV, Number 10  *  June 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.,



Coming Events

June 15, 2009: Probate Court Reception 2009. 
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Complimentary hors d' oeuvres/no host bar.
Complimentary drinks to Probate Court Staff.
No registration fee for all Trusts and Estates Section Members and for Judges and Probate Court Staff.
RSVP required.

June 23, 2009: A View from the Bench 2009. Earn 1 hour of CLE credit.

A Compendium of Recent Cases

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

-Trusts and Estates-
Decedent’s authorization of law firm to act as his "authorized representative" regarding his application for Medi-Cal eligibility and benefits created an agency relationship that was revoked by decedent’s death.
     Smith v. Shewry - filed April 21, 2009, publication ordered May 11, 2009, Second District, Div. Four
     Cite as 2009 SOS 2684

   Full Text                                                                                                                          Back to Top   

  -Family Law-
After a conservatorship has been established, a conservatee may file an initial petition for rehearing to challenge her status as a conservatee at any time and is only required to wait six months before filing a another petition for rehearing.
     Conservatorship of Amanda B. - filed May 15, 2009, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2009 SOS 2765
    Full Text                                                                                                                          Back to Top   

-Trusts and Estates-
Where statutory rules governing the law of intestate succession required decedent’s estate be passed onto decedent’s first cousins, estate was to be divided into as many shares as there were first cousins who survived decedent and first cousins who predeceased the decedent but left surviving issue of any generation. Surviving issue of a predeceased heir entitled to inherit was not limited to the first generation.
      Estate of Beckel - filed May 20, 2009, Fifth District
     Cite as 2009 SOS 2837
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-Family Law-
Proposed  Husband transmuted his separate real properties into community property by way of a written agreement executed in 2002 which stated that: "[a]ll property, real and personal, of [husband and wife], whether title thereto is held in the names of one or the other of the parties or both of the parties as joint tenants or otherwise, is the community property of the parties hereto, each having a present, existing, and equal interest therein," and "[a]ll property, real and personal, held in the name of Husband having its origin in his separate property no matter how received and/or earned, is hereby converted to community property of Husband and Wife, and shall thereafter be the community property of the parties for estate planning hereto, each having a present, existing, and equal interest therein"; it was irrelevant that the agreement was executed along with a trust and will as part of a single "estate planning" strategy, and other documents did not have any bearing on whether the agreement contained an express, unequivocal declaration of transmutation. Provision in agreement providing that it was not intended to "make any transfer of property between the parties" did not create ambiguity of husband's intent to transmute his previously separate property, because such an interpretation would violate basic principles of contract interpretation by undoing the other provisions. Trial court erred in finding husband was unduly influenced, based on lack of evidence in the record, and in trial court's perceived complexity of instant agreement where trail court wrongly interpreted agreement to include ambiguity, husband signed a declaration stating he read and understood agreement's terms, agreement was only five pages long, and husband was represented by counsel.
      In re Marriage of Lund - filed May 21, 2009, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as 2009 SOS 2858

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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.