So, You’re the Trustee of an Estate…Now What?
An essential aspect of estate planning is the Trustee, who will be tasked to carry out wishes. This is such an important role that potential Trustees are usually asked if they would be willing to take on the responsibility before being named in a Trust.
Governor Gavin Newsom Signs Sweeping Conservatorship Reform Bill
On September 30, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California AB 1194 amending numerous statutes pertaining to conservatorships. The following are highlights:
Internet Posting of Fees of Licensed Professional Fiduciary: On or before January 1,
Don’t Skimp on The Facts – Failure of Fiduciaries to Make Full Disclosure of Matters Set Forth in an Accounting May be Considered Fraud
In the recently published case of Hudson v. Foster, 2021 Cal.App. LEXIS 737, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, Division Five, determined that a former conservatee who discovered that certain transactions in his conservator’s previously approved accounting were falsely reported,
Bringing Down the Hammer – California Appellate Court Upholds $1,000 Per Day Sanction For Failure To Timely File Accounting
As trusts and estates litigation counsel, we often have matters where a fiduciary, either as a trustee, conservator, personal representative, or agent under a power of attorney, fails to provide financial information when properly requested,
Is the Britney Spears Conservatorship “Toxic”?
Britney Spears says so. After thirteen years of conservatorship, on June 23, 2021, Britney appeared remotely at her conservatorship hearing and relayed her emotional plea to the judge to terminate her conservatorship without the need for any further evaluation.
But I’m Too Young to Have a Will!
Planning for the end of one’s life, or potential incapacity, is probably something an individual in their 20’s, 30’s, or even 40’s does not want to contemplate. Even those in their later years might find it a difficult topic to discuss.
Lest We Forget, Conservatees Have Personal Rights
Conservatorship proceedings are commenced for a variety of reasons, but the most common circumstance is when an elderly person requires assistance, either with their medical care, or their financial affairs, or both,
Election Results – What Could They Mean to You? Tax Updates for a Biden Presidency
2020 has been a year to remember for so many reasons: a global pandemic, the race to a vaccine, and an election with record-breaking voter turnout.
President-elect Joe Biden and his running mate Vice President-elect Kamala Harris campaigned on a platform of detailed proposals,
The Split Roll Initiative on the November 2020 Ballot
In 1978 California voters approved Proposition 13, a landmark measure that set—and has kept—property taxes at a low rate. This November’s ballot includes a proposition known as the “split roll” initiative that would make significant changes to Proposition 13.
Estate Planning 101: Back to Basics
The COVID-19 pandemic has focused us all on necessities and on trying to prepare for an uncertain future. This article outlines why an estate plan is one of those necessities.
I Don’t Have an Estate Plan;
The Tale of Choupette the Cat and Other Common Issues in Trust and Estate Litigation
When Karl Lagerfeld passed away in February of 2019 in France, many speculated that his cat, Choupette, was well provided for as part of his estimated $150 million estate. This pampered feline was much loved by Mr.
With Right of Survivorship – or Perhaps Not?
In advising clients regarding the rights afforded to joint tenants on a bank account, most practitioners would say that the agreement with the financial institution generally would control, with the surviving joint tenant succeeding to the funds remaining in the account on the death of the other joint tenant.
Guess What? The Laws HAVE Changed – Avoiding a Conduit Trust Catastrophe after the SECURE Act
Like most estate planners, we always remind clients that tax and estate planning laws are subject to change and frequently do. As busy practitioners, it is impossible for us to reach out to every client when a change might affect him or her,
Shall We Check His Text Messages? The Growing Trend of Creating Wills in the Digital Age
Co-Authors: Thomas W. Shaver, Esq., John M. Andersen, Esq., and Agnieszka K. Adams
California Trusts and Estates Quarterly
This article was first published in Volume 26, Issue 1, 2020 of the California Trusts and Estates Quarterly,
Dead Men Tell No Tales and Other Issues with Contracts to Make a Will
First, what is a contract to make a will?
A contract to make a will is exactly as it sounds. It is an agreement to provide for a person as part of a decedent’s will.
When Do You NOT have the Right to Remain Silent? Conservatorship Proceedings and Equal Protection Clause Claims
Thanks to Law and Order, we’re all familiar with the beginning of a person’s Miranda Warning: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” What many may not know,
Casebriefs – How Recent Decisions Could Impact You
In our monthly department meetings, the trusts and estates group at Weintraub keeps current by reviewing recent cases and discussing how they could affect our practice. See below for some highlights from the past few months:
There’s No Place Like Home – Heightened Evidentiary Standard for Moving Conservatees from Their Personal Residence
Frequently when a conservatorship proceeding is commenced, the proposed conservatee is residing in his or her personal residence. Having a conservatorship established can be a distressing experience for a conservatee who has awareness of the effect of such a proceeding.
How to Get Rid of a Dead Body
California Trusts and Estates Quarterly
This article was first published in Volume 25, Issue 3, 2019 of the California Trusts and Estates Quarterly, reprinted by permission.
Those of us who watched AMC’s hit drama “Breaking Bad” may recall the scene in the pilot episode where Walt and Jesse set out to dissolve a dead body in hydrofluoric acid.
Important Tax and Estate Planning Update
You may have heard by now that the Gift and Estate Tax exemption amount was increased by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which became effective on January 1,
What Aretha Franklin’s Estate Teaches Us About the Pitfalls of Handwritten Wills
Typically, only those of us who are trusts and estates attorneys geek out over the fascinating problems that handwritten wills create. But when those wills were written by a music icon worth $80 million,
Focus on Fiduciaries: What Fiduciaries Need to Know About the Attorney-Client Privilege
Last month, my Weintraub colleagues and I had the pleasure of speaking at the Professional Fiduciary Association of California annual conference on the topic of the attorney-client privilege and its application to clients serving in a fiduciary capacity (trustee,
A Case Lesson in “What Not To Do” When Billing as a Conservator
Based on recent appellate cases, one of which is discussed below, the court’s scrutiny of conservators’ conduct and, specifically, private fiduciaries, is seemingly on the rise. Private fiduciaries acting as conservators should always remain focused on performing and charging only for those services that are consistent with the best interests of their conservatees.
And You Are? Long Lost Relatives Need to Prove Up Their Entitlement to Inherit
Under California law, the laws of intestacy control who inherits when a person dies without having prepared a valid will or trust. These rules can be complicated particularly as remote or even unknown blood relatives may have a claim to assets of the decedent’s estate.
Estate Planning 101: What is a “Sweetheart Trust?”
By Hilary Lamar
When discussing your estate planning needs with your attorney, after you discuss basic terms and concepts, your attorney will likely talk to you about the different types of revocable living trusts that may be appropriate for you.
Celebrity Trusts & Estates: Paul Walker Leaves His $25 Million Estate to His Teenage Daughter
By Trusts & Estates
It was recently revealed that the late Paul Walker left his entire estate—valued at approximately $25 million—to his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.
As reported, Paul Walker named his father as the executor of his will and his mother,
Trusts & Estates Case Alert: Another California Appellate District Adopts Anderson v. Hunt Reasoning in Assessing Capacity to Execute a Trust Instrument
By Ed Corey
The California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District issued a ruling Tuesday in Lintz v. Lintz, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 27 (6th Dist. January 14, 2014) adopting the reasoning of the Second Appellate District regarding the standard for legal capacity to execute a trust instrument (as announced by the Second Appellate District in Anderson v.
Don’t Make the Grave Mistake of Killing Your Appeal from an Order of the Probate Court
In most California civil cases, a party generally must wait until a trial court issues a final judgment before he or she can get through the doors of the Court of Appeal.
In Trust Disputes Where Competency of the Settlor is an Issue
Trust beneficiaries and litigators beware: the recent case of Drake V. Pinkham ((2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 400) highlights the dangers of waiting to file a trust contest until after the settlor’s death when questions regarding the settlor’s competency arise during the settlor’s lifetime.
Overcoming Proscrastination – Tips for Starting and Completing Your Estate Plan
Are you having trouble completing or updating your estate plan, although you are convinced you should? Maybe you have a referral to an attorney recommended by a friend or other advisor,