Trusts & Estates Bulletin

A Compendium of Recent Cases

  Brought to you by LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section  *  Volume V, Number 9  *  May 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

May 25, 2010: Litigation Considerations When Representing Fiduciaries. Omni Los Angeles Hotel. Earn 1.5 hours of CLE credit.

June 7, 2010: Probate Court Reception 2010. LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section cordially invites you to a reception honoring the Probate Department of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Special Announcement

Harriett 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

A Compendium of Recent Cases

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

Trusts and Estates
Probate Code Sec. 850 allows any interested person to request probate court to order a conveyance or transfer of property "claimed to belong to another" and does not require probate court to find that property belonged to the petitioning party. Sec. 856 clearly and unambiguously grants a probate court the power to order a conveyance or transfer to the person entitled to the property in question, but also to grant other appropriate relief. Probate court therefore did not exceed its authority by placing misappropriated funds, together with the statutory penalty, in decedent’s estate for a future determination of their proper disposition; probate court was not required to determine who was entitled to the funds before it could take them away from a person who was not entitled to them. When it is established that property is recoverable under Sec. 850 and that the party who took the property acted in bad faith, the Sec. 859 penalty may be imposed. Statutory emphasis is not on to whom the property belongs, but whether the person in possession in bad faith wrongfully acquired it. Probate court was not required to award statutory penalty money to anyone.
     Estate of Kraus - filed April 27, 2010, Second District, Div. Five
     Cite as B213484
     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.