- In This Issue -

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

Jana Gordon Garrotto, Law Offices of Garrotto & Garrotto

Jacqueline M. Real-Salas, Law Offices of Jacqueline M. Real-Salas,

Stefanie S. Cutler, Bloom & Ruttenberg

Nelson J. Handy, Fiduciary Law Services, Inc.,

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  An ePublication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association
Volume 8, Number 7   August 2013    Archive of Past Issues
Trusts and Estates Section Home Page

Save The Dates:

2013 Trusts and Estates Symposium
Friday, September 27
LA Hotel Downtown (Future Hyatt Regency/Formerly Marriott)
333 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, California 90071 Registration opens early August!

Aviva K. Bobb Advanced PVP Training Symposium
Saturday, November 2
LA Hotel Downtown (Future Hyatt Regency/Formerly Marriott)
333 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, California 90071

2013 Legislative Update
Thursday, December 12
Omni Hotel Los Angeles 251 S Olive St Los Angeles, CA 90012

Special Announcements

The Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Court has requested that the following information regarding continuances be provided to our Section:

In an effort to consider the convenience of all counsel, a request to continue a matter made after 12:00 noon the day before the hearing cannot be noted on the probate notes.  As such, if a continuance is requested, it should be BEFORE 12:00 noon the day before the hearing. 

Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program

The Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program provides parties with pending probate matters an opportunity to resolve their cases with the assistance of experienced, attorney volunteers screened and selected by a committee of local Bar Associations. If the parties and the assigned Judge believe a settlement conference would be helpful, the parties will then be directed to reserve a date by utilizing the reservation book on the clerk's desk in Department 11.

How to Sign Up:

(1) Stipulation and Order:
If you wish to participate, confirm to your Judge that you are willing to stipulate to an Order requiring all of the parties to appear in person for a settlement conference on the date the parties select (either a Tuesday or Thursday 8:30 a.m.).

(2) Reserve Date:

The parties must reserve a Tuesday or Thursday 8:30 a.m. session by entering the information in the Reservation Book found on the clerk's desk in Department 11. In order to ensure the settlement program resources are efficiently utilized, the parties should pick a date which is available on their calendars. Court personnel cannot be involved in re-scheduling.

Where and When:
Parties (and counsel) must appear by 8:30 a.m. in Department 11 on the date selected. They will then be advised by court staff where to meet with their settlement conference officer.

What to Bring the Day of the Conference:
Counsel should bring a Settlement Conference Brief the day of the hearing.

Please view the attached PDF for additional information.


Recent Cases

Trusts and Estates--Conservatorships
In determining whether to grant conservator’s petition authorizing her to consent to a hysterectomy and oophorectomy on behalf of conservatee--a developmentally disabled adult suffering from numerous health problems--trial court properly applied Probate Code Sec. 2357 and its provisions regulating court-ordered medical treatment rather than Sec. 1950 et seq. and its provisions regulating sterilization of developmentally disabled adults. Sec. 2357 governed because the objective of the proposed surgery was to treat conservatee’s medical conditions, not to prevent her from bearing children, and sterilization was only an incidental effect. Trial court erred in finding that under Sec. 2357 the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard of proof applied instead of the clear-and-convincing evidence standard. The error was harmless, however, because it was not reasonably probable the judge would have denied the petition under the more stringent standard.
     Conservatorship of Maria B. - filed July 31, 2013, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as G047889
     Full text

Family Law
Family Code Sec. 1101, which provides a remedy for nondisclosure of a community asset, does not authorize a postjudgment action. Where ex-wife alleged that her ex-husband breached fiduciary duty by failing to disclose the true value of an asset, whose existence was disclosed and which was divided in the marital settlement agreement and by the judgment, her remedy was an action to set aside the judgment, which had to be filed within one year under Sec. 2122(f).
     In re Marriage of Georgiou and Leslie - filed July 31, 2013, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as D061200
     Full text

Professional Responsibility and Conduct
Law firm of attorney who drafted will--which was subsequently revoked--could not represent trustees of a marital trust created by testator’s husband for her benefit, in a dispute regarding whether the terms of husband’s will required the trust to pay estate and inheritance taxes that were due on her assets. The current and prior representations were substantially related, the fact that the law firm simultaneously represented husband and wife did not create an exception to the rule regarding successive, adverse representation; and the trustees made no showing that testator waived her right to seek disqualification.
     Fiduciary Trust International of California v. Superior Court (Brown) - filed July 31, 2013, Second District, Div. Seven
     Cite as B247441
     Full text

Family Law
Mental capacity required to end a marriage is similar to that required to enter into one. Trial court acted within its discretion in determining that husband, although suffering from dementia, had demonstrated sufficient capacity by, among other things, arranging to have his adult sons take responsibility for his finances and cogently explaining to a psychologist why he wanted to divorce.
     In re Marriage of Greenway - filed June 3, 2013, publication ordered June 26, 2013, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as G045949
     Full text

Individual Rights
Federal courts had jurisdiction to adjudicate constitutionality of Defense of Marriage Act where Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives presented a concrete defense of the act in the face of the Executive Branch’s decision not to defend it. DOMA §3, which amended the Dictionary Act to define "marriage" and "spouse" as excluding same-sex partners, is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.
United States v. Windsor - filed June 26, 2013
Cite as 12-307_g2bh
Full text

Civil Procedure
Proponents of ballot initiative, although allowed to intervene in district court, had no particularized interest that would have allowed them to appeal district court’s ruling that the initiative was unconstitutional after responsible state officials declined to do so.
Hollingsworth v. Perry - filed June 26, 2013
Cite as 12-144_8ok0
Full text


Los Angeles County Bar Association
2012-2013 Trusts and Estates Section Newsletter

Kira S. Masteller

Amy L. McEvoy

Trudi Schindler

Immediate Past-Chair
Stuart D. Zimring

Section Administrator
Brendan Tarnay


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

Duncan Hromadka
Diane Y. Park
Jacqueline M. Real-Salas
Sandra (Sandy) R. Riley
Myer J. Sankary
Gabrielle A. Vidal
Caroline C. Vincent
William L. Winslow

Liaison, Barristers Section, Lauren C. Liebes
Liaison, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Trudi Schindler
Liaison, County Counsel, Susan Long, Deputy County Counsel
Liaison Public Interest, Yolande P. Erickson
Ex Officio, James R. Birnberg
Ex Officio, Susan Jabkowski
Ex Officio, Thomas H. Kenney
Ex Officio, Matthew W. McMurtrey
Ex Officio, Jonathan L. Rosenbloom

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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
rovided should be independently verified by the reader and should not be treated as authoritative.

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