- In This Issue -

The Trusts & Estates Bulletin is published monthly by the Trusts & Estates Section, coeditors:

Amy L. McEvoy, Sheppard Mullin, AMcEvoy@sheppardmullin.com

Nelson J. Handy, Fiduciary Law Services, Inc., nelson@fidls.com

Diane Young Park, Weinstock Manion Reisman Shore & Neumann, dpark@weinstocklaw.com

Jacqueline Real-Salas, Calleton, Merritt, De Francisco & Real-Salas, jackie@cmdrlaw.com

Larry Dushkes, Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester, lsd@manningllp.com

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Volume 6, Number 12 • December 2011 • Archives of Past Issues
Visit the Trusts & Estates Section web page

Coming Events

2011 Legislative Update and How to Avoid the Top 10 Probate Notes

Join us for our annual Legislative Update program, where James Birnberg will summarize what you need to know about the 2011 California Legislative Updates. Los Angeles County Probate attorney Patricia Doyle will also share the top 10 probate notes and how you can avoid them. Learn what you need to do to have your petition recommended for approval the first time around.

Date: January 17, 2012
Location: Omni Los Angeles Hotel, Bunker Hill Ballroom

Click here to register for this event

A Compendium of Recent Cases

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

Trusts and Estates
Probate court did not err in finding that a prior order of final distribution was not a money judgment under Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 680.270 since the order mandated the distribution of an inexact amount of cash. Executor did not have a duty to place the cash in the estate in some type of account, so beneficiary could not claim estate lost value based on executor's investment in a low-interest or non-interest bearing account. Beneficiary also was not entitled to interest the cash in the estate could have earned because beneficiary did not have use of the money. Not having use of the money in an estate is not a reduction in the value of an asset with the passage of time under Probate Code Sec. 9601. Civil Code Sec. 3287 does not apply to probate cases where there was no money judgment or contract, and residuary beneficiary did not have a claim of damages. Executor's affirmative defense of laches barred any claim for interest on the cash in estate where evidence supported finding that beneficiary acquiesced in executor's delay.
    Estate of Kampen - filed November 14, 2011, publication ordered
    December 9, 2011, First District, Div. Two
    Cite as 2011 S.O.S. 6662
    Full text

Trusts and Estates
A temporary conservator is entitled to reimbursement of legal fees and other expenses properly incurred for the conservatee's benefit during the term of that temporary appointment regardless of whether a permanent conservator is ever appointed.
    Conservatorship of Cornelius - filed November 15, 2011, First District, Div.
    Cite as 2011 S.O.S. 6150
     Full text

Trusts and Estates
Will which set forth testator's intent in the event he predeceased his wife or they died at the same moment, but made no disposition in the event he outlived his wife, as he did, did not render the will ambiguous; existence of a disinheritance clause in the will did not prevent testators' legal heirs from taking under the statutory rules of inheritance where testator had to be considered as having died intestate. Testator's purported oral declaration of intent cannot be used to fill in omitted terms of the will.
    Estate of Duke - filed December 5, 2011, Second District, Div. Four
    Cite as 2011 S.O.S. 6501
    Full text

Family Law
Probate court was not obligated to refer case to county child welfare agency prior to issuing a guardianship order where mother and father had stipulated to the guardianship after participating in mediation. Probate court was also not required to make a finding of parental unfitness where mother and father yielded custody to paternal grandparents and failed to take prompt legal action to defend their custodial rights. Substantial evidence supported probate court's finding that terminating parental rights was in child's best interests where during guardianship of more than four years, mother and father failed to remedy the problems of substance abuse and anger management that necessitated the guardianship in the first place.
    Adoption of Myah M. - filed December 19, 2011, First District, Div. Two
    Cite as 2011 S.O.S. 6859
    Full text

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Los Angeles County Bar Association
2011-12 Trusts and Estates Section Newsletter

Stuart D. Zimring

Kira S. Masteller

Amy L. McEvoy

Immediate Past-Chair
Nelson J. Handy

Section Administrator
Erica Leon


Ronald Berman
Jill A. Brousard
Jackson Chen
Kim D. Doering
Larry S. Dushkes
Kenneth A. Feinfield
Jana Gordon Garrotto
Sibylle Grebe

Diane Young Park
Nicole M. Pearl
Jacqueline Real-Salas
Myer J. Sankary
Gabrielle A. Vidal
Caroline C. Vincent
William Lane Winslow

Liaison Beverly Hills Bar Association, Trudi Sabel Schindler
Liaison County Counsel, Susan Long, Deputy County Counsel
Liaison Public Interest, Yolande P. Erickson
Ex Officio, James R. Birnberg
Ex Officio, Laura Conti
Ex Officio, Susan Jabkowski
Ex Officio, Thomas H. Kenney
Ex Officio, Matthew W. McMurtrey
Ex Officio, Jonathan L. Rosenbloom
Ex Officio, Gary M. Ruttenberg