On November 15, 2016, firm partner and trust litigator, Yasha Bronshteyn attended the 2016 Legislation Program sponsored by Beverly Hills Bar Association – Trusts and Estates Section.  An informative event put together by the Beverly Hills Bar Association Trusts & Estates Section.  The focus was on trusts, conservatorships, and probate estates.

A conservatorship is generally established for the care of mentally or physically disabled individual. Often conservatorship are associated with our aging population and disease such as Alzheimer’s or cognitive deficits such as dementia. Limited Conservatorships are a subset of conservatorships for developmentally disabled individuals. On the other-hand a guardianship is provided for the care of minors.  Unfortunately, with the aging population the financial abuse of the elderly is a quiet and common occurrence.   Seeking a conservatorship may be an effective method of protecting an older individual from financial abuse of a stranger or family member.

Among new bills in 2016:

gavelCiting a new California law that strengthened the voting rights of people with developmental disabilities, the Judge Kelety, of the San Diego Superior Court, said the injured man, David Rector, may not be barred from the voting booth.  Mr. Rector lost [his voting] rights in 2011 when a conservator after a brain injury left him unable to walk or speak. The new standard for disqualifying a conservatee from voting is established by SB 589, most prominently in an amendment to Elections Code section 2208(a)3 , as follows: (a) A person is presumed competent to vote regardless of his or her conservatorship status. A person shall be deemed mentally incompetent, and therefore disqualified from voting, if, during the course of any of the proceedings set forth below, the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person cannot communicate, with or without reasonable accommodations, a desire to participate in the voting process, and . . . [a] conservator for the person or the person and estate is appointed pursuant to Division 4 (commencing with Section 1400) of the Probate Code.

The Standard for a Conservatorship

  • Clear and Convincing Evidence is required, “so clear as to leave no substantial doubt”

On June 21, 2016, Trust and Wills Attorney Yasha Bronshteyn attended the Beverly Hills Bar Association -Trust and Wills Section Presentation at Lawry’s of Beverly Hills to address the role of Probate Volunteer Panel counsel in trust and conservatorship matters.  As well as to discuss various California Rules of Court Concerning Conservatorships.

gavelJudges from the Los Angeles Superior Court Hon. Maria E. Stratton (Department 5), Hon. William Barry (Department 67), Hon. Brenda Penny (Department 99) and Hon. Clifford L. Klein (Department 9) were in attendance.

Our experienced Los Angeles conservatorship attorneys are here to help clients in Santa Monica, Orange County and throughout Southern California defend their rights under the law.  With a presence in Northern California and Southern California the Law Office of Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP is dedicated to providing efficient, effective, strategic,  and affordable solutions to clients involved in conservatorship cases, trust and estate disputes, as well as other types of family law issues. We are here to help you and your loved ones. To discuss your needs and discover your options, consult the Los Angeles incapacity and estate planning attorneys at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP. We serve clients in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County, and throughout Southern and Northern California including Agoura Hills, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Encino, Hidden Hills, Irvine, Lake Sherwood, Malibu, Marin County, Oxnard, Pasadena, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Simi Valley, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, West Los Angeles,Westlake Village, and Woodland Hills. Our attorneys are renowned for producing high quality work and working diligently to achieve our client’s goals. If you or someone you know is dealing with a dispute over the administration or execution of trust or estate in California, you should contact an experienced trusts and estates litigation attorney to ensure your interests are represented. We have developed a reputation for effective representation in complex and sophisticated matters as we guide you through the complex legal process. We are experienced in obtaining and defending against conservatorships.  If you have questions about a loved one’s mental capacity, call the law firm of Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP at (310) 914-3222, (415) 465-6555, or (818) 787-1011, or reach us by using our online contact form.

On May 26, 2016, the Estate Planning and Probate Section of the Ventura County Bar Association was fortunate to have Judge Glen M. Reiser, presiding probate judge, present a State of the Probate Court address at the Wedgewood Ventura.  Firm partner and trust litigator, Yasha Bronshteyn attended Judge Reiser’s presentation as to the current state of the Probate Court and new Probate Appellant Cases were discussed. Judge Reiser is currently assigned to Courtroom J6 at the Juvenile and Probate Courthouse hearing all probate, conservatorship, guardianship estates and environmental cases.  The Probate Court is located at 4353 E. Vineyard Avenue Oxnard, California 93036.  Judge Reiser was appointed to the Ventura Superior Court bench by Governor Pete Wilson in 1998.

Cases discussed included:

(1) The Carne v. Worthington – filed April 13, 2016, Fourth District, Div. One was an Appeal from an order of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Jeffrey S. Bostwick, Judge. This case concerned certain real property located at Via Regla in La Jolla, California. Record title to the Via Regla Property was held by the trustee to the 1985 Trust. The issue here was the decedent’s daughter’s Petition to confirm that certain real property previously owned by Liebler, located on Via Regla, had been properly transferred to the 2009 Trust. The 2009 Trust states, “I transfer to my Trustee the property listed in Schedule A, attached to this agreement,” and lists the Via Regla Property in Schedule A. The 2009 Trust is signed by Liebler as grantor and by defendant and respondent, Nancy Worthington, and Craig Castle as co-trustees. However, Decedent’s grandson claimed the 2009 Trust was not a valid trust because Liebler had not properly transferred title to the only asset allegedly in the 2009 Trust, the Via Regla Property. Specifically, Hasting argued that Liebler had not effectively transferred the Via Regla Property into the 2009 Trust because Liebler had failed to execute a deed transferring the property to the trust.

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On March 15, 2016, Judges of the Probate Court for Los Angeles County discussed the current state of the Probate Court and addressed issues and concerns affecting the Court, the courtroom transitions, modernizing the system to benefit litigants, and  other questions submitted by Beverly Hills Bar Association Member from the Trust and Estates Section members. Judges from the Los Angeles Superior Court (Probate Division) expected in attendance were: Hon. Maria E. Stratton (Department 5), Hon. William Barry (Department 67), Hon. David J. Cowan (Department 79), Hon. Clifford L. Klein (Department 9), Hon. Brenda Penny (Department 99); and Hon. Lesley C. Green (Department 11).

The Timothy Whitehouse Award was be presented to Bet Tzedek for their outstanding contribution to the community with legal services provided at zero cost to low-income individuals.

Overall a very informative presentation in a pleasant lunch format that was attended by firm partner and trust litigator, Yasha Bronshteyn, at Lawry’s of Beverly Hills.

To discuss your needs and discover your options, consult the Los Angeles incapacity and estate planning attorneys at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP.  We serve clients in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ventura County, and throughout Southern and Northern California including Agoura Hills, Anaheim, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Costa Mesa, Encino, Fullerton, Hidden Hills, Laguna, Lake Forest, Irvine, Lake Sherwood, Marin, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Oxnard, Palo Alto, Pasadena, San Francisco,  Santa Monica, Simi Valley, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Ventura, West Los Angeles, and Woodland Hills. Our attorneys are renowned for producing high quality work and working diligently to achieve our client’s goals.  We have developed a reputation for effective and aggressive representation in complex and sophisticated matters as we guide you through the legal process.   We are experienced and patient in obtaining and defending against conservatorships. Contact us by calling (310) 914-3222 in Los Angeles, (415) 465-6566 in the Bay Area, or (818) 787-1011 in Westlake Village, or by using our online contact form.

Ginzburg & Bronhteyn, LLP, Trust Litigator and firm partner, Yasha Bronshteyn, attended the Elder Law Committee Presentation of the Trusts and Estates Section: Giraldin v Giraldin on February 25, 2016.  This program was absolutely informative for anyone who draft trusts and power of attorney documents, litigates trusts, serves as a trustee or represents a trustee or a beneficiary in the administration of a revocable trust when the trust’s settlor loses capacity.  The speaker discussed the case law and how it now influences the way counsel should advise trustees and beneficiaries alike when the settlor of an otherwise revocable trust has become incapacitated.   The reality is many attorneys and fiduciaries in the probate bar are still unaware of the monumental consequences, rights and duties that evolved from the California Supreme case of Giraldin v. Giraldin and related cases that came after it.

Once again Conservatorships, while intended to exist for the benefit of the protected person, can sometimes become complicated and contentious. If you find yourself in a conservatorship that has become legally combative, consult the conservatorship attorneys at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn. If you are involved in a conflict concerning a will, trust or estate, our experienced Los Angeles conservatorship attorneys are here to help clients in Marin County, Newport Beach, Santa Monica, Santa Clara County, Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, Orange County and throughout Southern California defend their rights under the law. The baby boomer population is ageing while having acquired significant wealth – ff the core of a dispute is the validity of a will, codicil, trust or trust amendment please contact our skilled attorneys for personalized legal services and aggressive representation.  You may contact Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP online or call us at (310) 914-3222, (714) 280-0601, (415) 465-6566, or (818) 787-1011 or by using our online contact form.

Effective February 1, 2016, Judge William Barry will be assigned to Dept. 67 of the Los Angeles Superior Court Central Probate Division at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, 111 N. Hill St., Los Angeles California, 90012.

All cases currently assigned to Judge David S. Cunningham are reassigned to Judge Barry as of the effective date. All matters currently on calendar in Department 67 shall remain scheduled on the dates and times previously set, unless otherwise notified.

Next, on a different note with insight from our colleague Attorney Michelle Lerman, of Lerman Law Partners, LLP and Certified Estate Planning Specialist

Firm partner, Yasha Bronshteyn, attended A Discussion of Estate of Duke which was presented on January 19, 2016, at Lawry’s in Beverly Hills, by the Beverly Hills Bar Association-Trust & Wills Section.   

The presentation focused and discussed an unanimous decision, In re the Estate of Duke-the recent California Supreme Court case which held that extrinsic evidence can be used to reform a Will which contains no ambiguity. This probate case will have an important impact on the practice of probate law in California.

The California Supreme Court decision in the case on wills granted review to reconsider the historical rule that extrinsic evidence is inadmissible to reform an unambiguous will. The Supreme Court has concluded that the categorical bar on reformation of wills (dating back to common law and codified in statute by the enactment of the California Probate Code’s various legal requirements) is not justified.  The Supreme Court holds that an unambiguous will may be reformed if clear and convincing evidence establishes that the will contains a mistake in the expression of the testator’s intent at the time the will was drafted and also establishes the testator’s actual specific intent at the time the will was drafted.

2012-06-24 12.04.39This looks like an attempt at a potential conservatorship of Sumner Redstone the 92-year-old executive chairman of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp.  However, at this juncture Mr. Redstone will not have to submit to a battery of medical tests to determine his mental competence as on November 30, 2015, Judge Clifford L. Klein, a Los Angeles County Superior Court Probate Judge, presiding in Department 11 denied a request by Redstone’s former girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, to speed up the legal process to determine whether Redstone is mentally fit to make decisions about his health. That would have required  to immediately give videotaped testimony and submit to brain scans, among other tests.

The Court appeared clear. “I did not find there was any urgency,” Superior Court Judge Clifford L. Klein told the courtroom filled with lawyers, reporters, publicists and others interested in the media companies that Redstone controls. “Mr. Redstone is not suffering from any critical health issues … other than his age,” Klein said. “But at 92 years old, conditions can change very rapidly.”

Judge Klein listed four factors that influenced his decision that the case did not constitute an emergency: Redstone’s personal physician visits him two times a week; Redstone has a round-the-clock team of nurses at his Beverly Park home; Redstone was not suffering from a critical health issue; and the agent in charge of Redstone’s advance healthcare directive was an attorney and the chief executive of Viacom: Philippe Dauman.

gavel_bwAt Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP we are dedicated to providing unique, precious, effective, and affordable solutions to clients involved in conservatorship cases, trust litigation, trust and estate disputes, as well as other types of family law issues.  To discuss your needs and discover your options, consult the Los Angeles incapacity and estate planning attorneys at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP.  We serve clients in Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura County, and throughout Southern and Northern California including Agoura Hills, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Costa Mesa, Encino, Fullerton, Hidden Hills, Laguna, Lake Forest Irvine, Lake Sherwood, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Oxnard, Pasadena, San Francisco,  Santa Monica, Simi Valley, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Ventura, West Los Angeles, and Woodland Hills. Our attorneys are renowned for producing high quality work and working diligently to achieve our client’s goals.  We have developed a reputation for effective representation in complex and sophisticated matters as we guide you through the complex legal process.   We are experienced in obtaining and defending against conservatorships. Contact us by calling (310) 914-3222 in Los Angeles, or (818) 787-1011 in Westlake Village, or by using our online contact form.

Ginzburg & Bronhteyn, LLP, Trust Litigator and firm partner, Yasha Bronshteyn, attended the Probate Lawyers Event presented by ADR Services on October 27, 2015, where Judge Daniel S. Murphy, most recently sitting in Department 29 of the Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Department and now in Department 97 of the Los Angeles Superior Court will discuss “Confessions of a Recovering Former Probate Judge”.   Judge James A. Steele who retired from the Los Angeles Probate Court last year also attended.  Judge Daniel S. Murphy, known to his judicial colleagues as “The Professor”, was the inaugural Probate Lawyers’ Breakfast Club guest speaker. Judge Murphy recounted some of his more interesting moments on the Probate Bench and offered valuable insights into the thought process of a probate judge in both calendar and trial matters.

Once again Conservatorships, while intended to exist for the benefit of the protected person, can sometimes become complicated and contentious. If you find yourself in a conservatorship that has become legally combative, consult the conservatorship attorneys at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn. If you are involved in a conflict concerning a will, trust or estate, our experienced Los Angeles conservatorship attorneys are here to help clients in Newport Beach, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, Orange County and throughout Southern California defend their rights under the law. The baby boomer population is ageing while having acquired significant wealth – ff the core of a dispute is the validity of a will, codicil, trust or trust amendment please contact our skilled attorneys for personalized legal services and aggressive representation.  You may contact Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP online or call us at (310) 914-3222, (714) 280-0601,  or (818) 787-1011 or by using our online contact form.

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