- 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, Law Offices of Jacqueline Real-Salas, jackie@realsalaslaw.com

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

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Coming Events

Thirty Days Before Trial: What You Must Know and Do

Judge Reva G. Goetz and two experienced trial attorneys will discuss LASC Local Rule 4.15 (joint trial statements), as well as other steps attorneys should take in the weeks prior to their trials. This class will be the first in a series of trial skills seminars designed specifically for trusts and estates lawyers.

Honorable Reva G. Goetz
Justin B. Gold, Esq.
    Oldman, Cooley, Sallus, Gold, Birnberg & Coleman LLP
Jessica Uzcategui, Esq.
    Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Time: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Stanley Mosk Courthouse Special Events Center-Room 222/2nd Floor (**Please note that food & beverages are not permitted in the SEC**)
111 No. Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3014

Check-in Begins at Noon
One Hour MCLE Credit-Provided by the LACBA Trusts & Estates Section
Price: Free

Click here to register for this event!

Save the Dates!!

Banks & Powers of Attorney - A Practical Solution, March 29, 2012

Mandatory/Refresher PVP Attorney Training Program, Saturday, May 5, at the Westin Pasadena. Speakers and topics TBA.

This course is required for attorneys applying to serve on the Probate Volunteer Panel and helps to satisfy the educational requirements for PVP attorneys set forth in the LASC Local Rules and the California Rules of Court.

View From The Bench June 21, 2012

(More details to come)

Special Announcements

Extension To Elect Spousal Portability

The IRS issued Notice 2012-21 which provides that the IRS will grant an automatic six-month extension of time for filing an estate tax return (Form 706) to certain estates that did not apply for an extension before the return due date. That extension is available for estates of decedents (a) who died after 12/31/10 and before 7/1/11, (b) who have a surviving spouse, and (c) whose gross estate does not exceed the basic exclusion amount for 2011. The executor must file both the request for an extension (Form 4768) and the estate tax return not later than 15 months after the date of death. Further details are set forth in Notice 2012-21.

Best Practices

New Probate Case Cover Sheet

The Probate Case Cover Sheet and Certificate of Grounds for Assignment to District was revised and the new form should be used effective 1/1/12. This form is available here.

A Compendium of Recent Cases

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

Trusts and Estates
Husband's alleged understatement of his wealth did not invalidate premarital agreement--wife waived right to disclosure, and trial court's finding that this waiver was knowing and voluntary was supported by substantial evidence where wife had the advice of two attorneys specializing in family law and estate planning during the nine months the agreement was being discussed and negotiated, her lawyer drafted the agreement and revised drafts in consultation with husband and his attorney, and wife had a professional background and evident business skills. Amendments to Family Code Sec. 1615, creating presumption that a premarital agreement was not executed voluntarily absent certain findings, do not apply to agreement executed before the amendments took effect.

    In re Marriage of Hill and Dittmer
    filed December 19, 2011, publication ordered January 18, 2012, Second
    District, Div. Six
    Cite as B226017
    Full text

Trusts and Estates
Probate court's general power to supervise administration of trusts permits it to order a trustee's accounting on its own motion, and such order standing alone is not appealable.
    Christie v. Kimball
    filed January 26, 2012, Second District, Div. Six
    Cite as 2012 S.O.S. 392
    Full text

Estate Taxation
The IRS disallowed a $62 million deduction on an estate tax return for the estimated amount of California personal income tax that the estate might owe if the decedent's California tax avoidance plan failed to work. The income tax return employing the tax avoidance plan was filed post-death and after an FTB audit (initiated after the estate tax return was filed), the estate settled with the FTB for $26 million, of which $7 million was interest. The estate's pleadings demonstrated that the estimated amount of the California income tax claim was not ascertainable with reasonable certainty as of the date of death, and thus was not a valid deduction under Treas. Regs. Sec. 20.2053-1(b)(3) (as in effect prior to October 20, 2009). However, what was an uncertain claim became certain when the estate settled with the FTB, and the estate was allowed to deduct the amount actually paid to the FTB.
    Naify Revocable Trust v. United States
    filed February 15, 2012, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
    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
Brendan Tarnay


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