Trusts & Estates Bulletin

A Compendium of Recent Cases

  Brought to you by LACBA's Trusts & Estates Section   *  Volume III, Number 5 * October, 2007  *  Contact Us  *  Join the T & E Section  *  Archived Issues


Trusts & Estates Bulletin is published monthly by the Trusts & Estates Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA).

David C. Nelson,
Loeb & Loeb LLP, Editor


>(Cases appear in chronological order, with the oldest cases appearing first.) 

-Trusts and Estates-
Order denying creditor’s claim as untimely is not appealable.
     McDonald v. Structured Asset Sales, LLC - filed August 30, 2007, Fourth District, Div. Two
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5554
     Full text 

-Trusts and Estates-
While a proposed conservatee has both a statutory and procedural due process right to be present at his Lanterman-Petris-Short Act conservatorship establishment hearing, appointed counsel may communicate a proposed conservatee's waiver of his or her right, and an effective waiver will be inferred by virtue of counsel's authority to act on his or her client's behalf with the client's consent.
     Conservatorship of John L. - filed August 31, 2007, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5546
     Full text 

Protective orders issued under the Elder Abuse Act are reviewed for abuse of discretion, and the factual findings underpinning such protective orders are reviewed for substantial evidence. Protective orders under the Elder Abuse Act require proof by a preponderance of the evidence of a past act or acts of elder abuse. Trial court did not abuse discretion by issuing protective order based on substantial evidence of defendant's past acts toward plaintiff, which constituted abusive, threatening, and harassing behavior resulting in mental suffering.
     Bookout v. Nielsen - filed August 31, 2007, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5577
     Full text 

-Real Property-
Where property was deeded by private owners to county with clear language stating grantors’ intent that property be used for fairgrounds and that property revert to them or their heirs if it was not used for that purpose, triable issues existed with respect to the parties’ interests, rights, and obligations with respect to the property. It was error for trial court to find as a matter of law that recitations of the grantors’ intent were mere private covenants and not binding on county. Under public trust doctrine, deed language specifying a public purpose for property is strictly construed in accordance with grantors’ intent. California law does not limit application of the doctrine to tidelands.
     County of Solano v. Handlery - filed September 21, 2007, First District, Div. Three
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5903
     Full text


Under Sec. 2036 of Internal Revenue Code, decedent who made inter vivos transfer of real property to partnership controlled by her children had implied agreement with partnership that she would retain economic benefits from transferred asset where she did not retain sufficient assets to support herself for the remainder of her life, and partnership made significant cash distributions to her in the three years before her death. Where transfer resulted in impoverishment of the decedent, who was able to meet her financial needs before the transfer but required assistance from the partnership afterward until her death, partnership did not honor partnership formalities, and transfer did not create a potential nontax benefit for the decedent; transfer was not executed for any legitimate, significant nontax-related business purpose and was not a bona fide sale for an adequate and full consideration.
     Estate of Bigelow v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue - filed September 14, 2007
     Cite as No. 05-75957
     Full text 

-Trusts and Estates-
Handwritten document in which decedent wrote his name in block letters at the top, stated disposition of some of his assets, and included some language indicating testamentary intent was a valid holographic will. Probate Code does not require that a holographic will be signed at the bottom, that it dispose of all of decedent’s property, or that it contain any specific form of testamentary language.
     Estate of Williams - filed August 24, 2007, publication ordered September 17, 2007, Sixth District
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5780
     Full text