Trusts & Estates Bulletin

A Compendium of Recent Cases

  Brought to you by LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section  *  Volume V, Number 6  *  February 2010 
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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.,



Special Announcement

Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law: 25th Annual Theater Benefit, Thursday, June 3, 2010. The Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law will honor Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff, Presiding Probate Judge for Los Angeles County, at its 25th Annual Theater Benefit.

This will be a terrific celebration of a man who richly deserves this prestigious honor. For your contribution, you will receive tickets to a performance at the Music Center in Los Angeles of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific, followed by a reception and award ceremony.

Last, but by no means least, your support will help a truly wonderful organization that takes on the very serious problems of domestic violence and poverty among single parents and their children. The Harriett Buhai Center provides diverse and unique programs, such as pro bono legal services, the Child Support Project, the Domestic Violence Law Project, the Vulnerable Youth Project, Mothers Behind Bars and other community education, outreach, and volunteer programs. You can learn more about the center at
Pledge your support by March 26th to be included on the invitation.

Coming Events

March 24, 2010: PVP Brown Bag "Government Benefits"

March 30, 2010: Tax Preparer Penalties For Attorneys Who Think They Are Not Tax Preparers: View from the Branch Courts.

A Compendium of Recent Cases

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

Trusts and Estates
A non-relative petitioning for appointment of a guardian for a minor’s estate must establish standing under Probate Code Sec. 1510(a) by pleading ultimate facts demonstrating financial misconduct or alleging other information sufficient to warrant court intervention in the management of minor’s money or other property. Test for determining whether a nonrelative has standing to file a petition for appointment of a guardian is the same as test for determining whether petition’s allegations are sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. Probate court erred by ordering an investigation without providing mother with notice or an opportunity to be heard before issuing its order.
     Suleman v. Superior Court (Petersen) - filed January 8, 2010, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as G042509
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Trusts and Estates
Trial court did not violate due process rights of conservatee by accepting a stipulation filed by her attorney--stating she consented to reestablishment of conservatorship and waived her right to a formal hearing--where stipulation included attorney’s sworn declaration that conservatee was told, understood, and agreed to the terms. Appellate court could not consider postjudgment declaration--which was never presented to the trial court for a ruling--in which conservatee raised new factual allegations challenging her knowing consent to stipulated reestablishment; appropriate procedure when conservatee seeks to challenge his or her consent after entry of a stipulated judgment is to have new factual allegations resolved at the trial court level through a petition for rehearing or a habeas petition.
     Conservatorship of Deidre B. - filed January 11, 2010, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as D054783
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Taxpayer, who did not file an application for assessment reduction under Revenue and Taxation Code Sec. 1603(a) with county board of equalization prior to filing refund claim with county auditor-controller, failed to exhaust administrative remedies, where refund claim was based on a contention that assessment increase violated Proposition 13 because no change in ownership of the property had occurred. County’s insistence in trial and appellate courts that a change in ownership had occurred did not, under futility doctrine, excuse taxpayer’s failure to raise the issue before equalization board. Change in ownership occurred within the meaning of Proposition 13 upon the death of a trust settlor who transferred her residence to a trust that was revocable during her life, who was the sole present beneficiary of that revocable trust, and who provided in the trust document that upon her death the trust would become irrevocable and that her sister would have the right to occupy the residence during her lifetime.
     Steinhart v. County of Los Angeles. - filed February 4, 2010
     Cite as 2010 SOS 667
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Los Angeles County Bar Association
2009-10 Trusts and Estates Section Newsletter
Amy L. McEvoy, Co-Editor,  David C. Nelson, Co-Editor,    Nelson J. Handy, Co-Editor

Jonathan L. Rosenbloom

Nelson J. Handy

Stuart D. Zimring

Stuart D. Zimring

Immediate Past-Chair
Laura Conti

Section Administrator
Elise Green


Michael A. Abraham
Jackson Chen
Susan J. Cooley
Kenneth A. Feinfield
Sibylle Grebe
Samuel D. Ingham III
Susan Jabkowski
Jane E. Kwon
Jamie Lee Kim

Kira S. Masteller
Amy L. McEvoy
Matthew W. Mc Murtrey
Nicole M. Pearl
Jacqueline Real-Salas
David P. Schwartz
Leigh A. Shipp
Gabrielle A. Vidal

Barristers Liaison, Laura Narimatsu Wasserman
Liaison Beverly Hills Bar Association, Trudi Sabel Schindler
Liaison Public Interest, Yolande P. Erickson
Ex Officio, James R. Birnberg
Ex Officio, Thomas H. Kenney
Ex Officio, Gary M. Ruttenberg

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.