Trusts & Estates Bulletin

A Compendium of Recent Cases

  Brought to you by LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section  *  Volume V, Number 7  *  March 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.,



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: A View from Next to the Bench. Note that this luncheon will be held at The Olympic Collection.

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.

A Compendium of Recent Cases

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

Trusts and Estates
Statement in testator's will expressing her desire not to provide for any unmentioned heirs and limiting recover to $1 for any unmentioned person who successfully claimed to be an heir did not manifest an intention to preclude predeceased residual beneficiary's issue from inheriting under Probate Code Sec. 21110(a)'s anti-lapse provision.
     Estate of Tolman - filed February 11, 2010, Second District, Div. Eight
     Cite as 2010 SOS 861
     Full text 
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Trusts and Estates
Probate court abused its discretion in awarding fees to trustee without any explanation for what it concluded trustee had reasonably incurred those fees and without specifying the amount of that award. An assessment of reasonableness for a fee award depends not only on what fees were reasonably incurred but also on whether such fees are reasonably and prudently incurred for the trust.
     Donahue v. Donahue - filed February 24, 2010, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as 2010 SOS 698
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Court hearing Lanterman-Petris-Short Act conservatorship proceeding did not violate the act or the conservatee’s constitutional right of due process by accepting representation of conservatee’s attorney--that conservatee was waiving his right to be present for hearing and was not contesting petition--where attorney personally discussed the proceedings with conservatee, and there was no allegation that attorney misrepresented the contents of that discussion.
     Conservatorship of John L. - filed February 25, 2010
     Cite as 2010 SOS 970
     Full text  
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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.