Trusts & Estates

Weintraub Tobin’s exceptionally experienced Trusts and Estates attorneys practice throughout the Firm’s Northern and Southern California offices.  Many members of the Group have concentrated their practices on Trusts and Estates for more than 20 years. Our attorneys focus on clients’ personal concerns as well as their estate planning, tax, and litigation goals. The top priority is to provide clients with the customized service they need and want.

Weintraub estate planners combine careful analysis and advice on the latest developments in federal and state tax policies in order to meet client objectives and maximize financial benefits in estate and personal tax planning. Our attorneys provide representation on any tax controversies that might arise, including audits and tax court proceedings. Our estate planning attorneys assist clients with retirement planning, business succession planning, asset protection, and entity formation issues.

Weintraub’s Trusts and Estates Group is well-known for its probate, trust, and conservatorship administration services. Our attorneys represent beneficiaries, executors, corporate, and individual trustees in all aspects of trust administration from initial funding through Probate Court representation, if needed.  Weintraub attorneys counsel beneficiaries, fiduciaries, and creditors through all phases of contested and uncontested probate administration, and if an individual cannot manage his or her affairs, our attorneys can file for and establish conservatorships as well as provide conservators with representation on an ongoing basis.

Our Trusts and Estates Group assists a broad spectrum of fiduciaries, including institutional fiduciaries, family members, and licensed professionals. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing fiduciaries with probate, trust, or conservatorship administration, from the very basic to the highly complex, including tax matters that arise during probate.

When disputes arise involving an estate plan or the administration of a probate or trust, Weintraub has a team of dedicated litigators that assist clients with a full range of trust and probate controversies. Unlike general litigators, our team has deep expertise in the Probate Code and Probate Court procedures.

In addition to representing clients in contested matters, our Trusts and Estates litigators have extensive experience with Alternative Dispute Resolution, including mediation and arbitration. This experience includes serving as mediators and arbitrators as well as representing clients in trust and estate disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, contested conservatorships, and elder financial abuse matters.

 
 
Webinar: The Employment Law Issues Trustees, Conservators, and other Fiduciaries Face

On Tuesday, April 28, Weintraub attorney Ryan E. Abernethy is presenting a webinar hosted by the California Lawyers Association. Summary: In fulfilling their fiduciary obligations, trustees, conservators, and other fiduciaries are often thrust into situations where they are required to act as an employer.

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SCBA Probate & Estate Planning Section Boot Camp

  Weintraub attorneys Carlena Tapella, Kelly Dankbar, and Leslie Kolafa will be speaking on the topic of “Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees” at the 2019 Probate Litigation Boot Camp sponsored by the Sacramento County Bar Association.

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Brendan Begley Presents at Employment Litigation 2019

  Brendan Begley will be speaking at The Rutter Group and the California Judges Association’s Employment Litigation 2019: Facing Workplace Realities in Divisive Times on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City.

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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: A Fiduciary’s Guide to the Attorney-Client Privilege

Summary of Program As a fiduciary, you may think that all of your communications with your attorney are confidential.  While communications between an attorney and his or her client are generally protected by the attorney-client privilege,

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The Twenty-Third Annual Estate & Gift Tax Conference

Hot Topics:  Property Tax Planning and Reporting The panel will focus on entity and parent to child transfers.  They will address new developments, including planning entity transfers (Ocean Avenue LLC) to avoid reassessment and the appropriate BOE forms to file.

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The Twenty-Third Annual Estate & Gift Tax Conference

  Location: Julia Morgan Ballroom at the Merchants Exchange 465 California Street San Francisco, CA  94104   Topics include: Ethics:  To Tweet or Not? Ethics in Social Media Annual Estate and Gift Tax Conference The speaker will focus on the ethical issues facing practitioners with so many on-line tools.

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Managing Risk: How To Protect Yourself In A Post-Giraldin World

A Seminar for Fiduciaries Summary of Program Join the attorneys from Weintraub Tobin’s Trusts and Estates Group as they discuss the important legal and practical implications for trustees arising from the recent California Supreme Court decision in the Estate of Giraldin.

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Weintraub Tobin Ranked in U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2021 “Best Law Firms”

SACRAMENTO, CA – Weintraub Tobin, a leading California full-service law firm, has been recognized with numerous rankings in the 2021 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.” The tiered rankings are assigned to law firm practice groups by metropolitan area.

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Sophia Cizmarik in Mansion Global: Will There Be Property Tax Proposals on the Ballot on U.S. Election Day?

Each week, Mansion Global, a real estate publication of Dow Jones/Barron’s Group, poses a question to real estate tax attorneys. Sophia Y. Cizmarik was interviewed for a September 2020 article discussing real estate tax proposals on several state ballots in November.

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Sophia Y. Cizmarik Joins Weintraub

Weintraub is pleased to welcome Sophia Y. Cizmarik to the Firm’s Trusts & Estates group. Her practice encompasses a wide range of trusts and estates law, including estate planning, trust administration,

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Weintraub Tobin Ranked in U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2020 “Best Law Firms”

SACRAMENTO, CA (November 1, 2019) – Weintraub Tobin, a leading California full-service law firm, was honored to be recognized with eight first-tier rankings in the 2020 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.” The complete list of rankings is published on the U.S.

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14 Weintraub Tobin Attorneys Named to Best of the Bar 2019

  SACRAMENTO, California  – Weintraub Tobin congratulates its 14 attorneys who have been included in Sacramento Business Journal’s Best of the Bar 2019. Attorneys selected to the 2019 Best of the Bar list include Gary L.

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19 Weintraub Tobin Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2020

  SACRAMENTO, CA (August 15, 2019) – Weintraub Tobin, a leading California full-service law firm, is pleased to announce that 19 of our attorneys have been recognized on the 2020 The Best Lawyers in America list.

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31 Weintraub Tobin Attorneys Named to 2019 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists

Weintraub Tobin is pleased to announce that more than 30 Weintraub Tobin attorneys have been included on the 2019 Super Lawyers and Rising Star lists for outstanding attorneys Northern California.  In addition,

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Allison M. Pedrazzi Joins Weintraub

Weintraub is pleased to welcome Allison M. Pedrazzi to our Trusts & Estates Group. Allie works with families and individuals in all aspects of estate planning, trust and probate administration, and related real estate,

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Carlena L. Tapella Joins Weintraub

Weintraub is pleased to welcome Carlena Tapella to our Trusts and Estates Group, where her practice includes a wide spectrum of trust, estate, and conservatorship litigation and administration.

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Leslie Kolafa Joins Weintraub

Leslie Kolafa joins the Trusts and Estates group as an associate. Leslie practices in trusts and estates litigation, and also assists clients with estate administration, conservatorships, and fiduciary representation.

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Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin Law Corporation ranked in 2019 “Best Law Firms”

  Sacramento, CA, United States, November 1, 2018 — U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the ninth consecutive year, announce the “Best Law Firms” rankings. Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin Law Corporation has been ranked in the 2019 U.S.

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19 Attorneys from Weintraub Tobin were recognized in The Best Lawyers In America ©2019

SACRAMENTO, California – August 15, 2018 – Weintraub Tobin congratulates its nineteen attorneys who have been included in The Best Lawyers of America© 2019 list. David Adams, Sacramento, Corporate Governance Law,

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Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin Law Corporation ranked in 2018 “Best Law Firms”

  Sacramento, CA, United States, November 1, 2017 — U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the eighth consecutive year, announce the “Best Law Firms” rankings. Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin Law Corporation has been ranked in the 2018 U.S.

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19 Attorneys from Weintraub Tobin were recognized in The Best Lawyers In America© 2018

SACRAMENTO, California – August 16, 2017 – Weintraub Tobin congratulates its nineteen attorneys who have been included in The Best Lawyers of America© 2018 list. David Adams, Sacramento, Corporate Governance Law,

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Nine Weintraub Tobin Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers In America© 2017

SACRAMENTO, California – August 15, 2016 – Weintraub Tobin congratulates its nine partners who have been included in The Best Lawyers of America© 2017 list. David Adams, Sacramento, Corporate Governance Law &

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Weintraub Tobin Elevates Two to Shareholder

SACRAMENTO (July 6, 2016) – Weintraub Tobin, one of California’s leading, full-service law firms, is pleased to announce that Shauna N. Correia and Gary D. Rothstein have been promoted to shareholder.

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Weintraub Tobin Attorneys Recognized as “Rising Stars” in Southern California

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 15, 2015) – Weintraub Tobin, one of California’s leading, full-service law firms, is pleased to announce that Jacob C. Gonzales, Jessica Marlow, and Julie R. Woods have been named to the 2015 Southern California “Rising Stars” list.

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Weintraub Tobin Promotes Three to Shareholder

New shareholders Mary K. deLeo in Sacramento, Jeffrey B. Pietsch in San Francisco, and Jessica M. Marlow in Beverly Hills, were recognized by The Daily Journal for their recent promotions to shareholder.

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Weintraub Tobin Announces Gary Rothstein to Join San Francisco Office

Download: Press Release. Gary Rothstein.pdf San Francisco, California – July 10, 2014 – Weintraub Tobin, a business law and litigation firm, is pleased to announce that Gary Rothstein has joined the San Francisco office.

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Ask the Experts: Are my assets available to my son’s creditors?

This week , Sacramento estate planning attorney Kay Brooks answers a reader’s question in regards to protecting her assets from her son’s creditors in the Sacramento Bee column “Ask the Experts.”

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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.

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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;

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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.

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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.

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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,

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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,

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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. 

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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,

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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: Pena v.

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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.

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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.

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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,

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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,

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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,

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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,

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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,

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