Articles Posted in Conservatorships

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.

The case, BP168725 was subsequently transferred to the courtroom of Probate Judge David Cowan in Department 79 of the Los Angeles Probate Court for as future hearing on January 27, 2016.

Herzer wanted the judge to expedite the proceedings so that her attorneys could begin to take videotaped testimony of the mogul who may have suffered from a stroke and has trouble speaking and signing his name.

Herzer’s attorneys also wanted Mr. Sumner to submit to a series of sophisticated brain scans — not just a single CT scan that was recently conducted. Herzer’s lawyers cited the California Probate Code, and argued an individual has “a fundamental interest in having his personally selected agent in place to make highly personal and intimate health care choices for him when he is unable to do so for himself, as is currently the case.”

Attorneys for Mr. Redstone allege that Herzer has little interest in Mr. Redstone’s ongoing healthcare regimen and instead is worried that she has been cut out of Redstone’s will that will distribute Mr. Redstone’s personal fortune, which is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Common issues or allegations in the Conservatorship Petition alleging the following problems:

— major impairment to short term, long term and immediate recall memory
— major impairment to verbally communicate
— major impairment to perform simple calculations, plan simple tasks and reason logically.
— severe disorganized thinking
— moderate hallucinations

Conservatorship by its nature is an infringement of an individual’s civil liberties. Authority to make fundamental decisions like what to eat, what to wear, where to reside, and who will be allowed to touch the patient, can be taken away and given to another; to be exercised in the patient’s best interests. Someone will take title to the patient’s property, intercept the patient’s mail and pension payments, and manage the patient’s investments; in strict accordance with prudent practices, of course. Complete compliance with all applicable laws is practiced by competent fiduciaries, and strictly enforced by bevies of attorneys and an ever-watchful court; at the patient’s expense. Conservatorship is such a serious and expensive invasion that it must be the last resort. Probate Code section 1800.3 (b) states: “No conservatorship of the person or of the estate shall be granted by the court unless the court makes an express finding that the granting of the conservatorship is the least restrictive alternative needed for the protection of the conservatee.” To establish a probate conservatorship, a petitioner must show by clear and convincing evidence, the civil equivalent of “beyond reasonable doubt,” that the proposed conservatee cannot properly provide for their basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and health care. Probate Code Section 1801(a)  If there is any reasonable alternative to conservatorship, the court would be unable to make the affirmative finding necessary to appoint a conservator.   This standard is higher than the typical “preponderance of the evidence” standard as a result of the importance the legislature has given to the determination.  The conservatorship must be last resort – Probate Code 1821(a)(3): petitioner must inform court of alternatives to conservatorship and why the alternatives will not work.

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.

We are here to help you and your loved ones.  To discuss your needs and discover your options, consult the Los Angeles incapacity, conservatorship, 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, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Encino, Hidden Hills, Irvine, Lake Sherwood, Laguna Beach, Orange, Oxnard, Pasadena, San Francisco,  Santa Monica, Simi Valley, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, 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, (714) 280-0601 in Orange County, or (818) 787-1011 in Westlake Village, or by using our online contact form.

 

IMG-20120406-00236Firm partner Yasha Bronshteyn, a practitioner who handles conservatorships, is looking forward to attending program presented by the Elder Law Committee of the Trusts & Estates Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.  Topics will include what orders are subject to appeal, who has standing to take an appeal, and how to obtain (or defeat) a stay of the trial court’s ruling during the appeal.  The speakers will also discuss recent appellate decisions involving conservatorships and provide practical guidance on the logistics of filing an appeal, preparing the appellate record, and briefing the legal issues in a conservatorship appeal.  The program is set to take place on September 2, 2015.

Common issues or allegations in the Conservatorship Petition alleging the following problems:

— major impairment to short term, long term and immediate recall memory
— major impairment to verbally communicate
— major impairment to perform simple calculations, plan simple tasks and reason logically.
— severe disorganized thinking
— moderate hallucinations

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.

We are here to help you and your loved ones.  To discuss your needs and discover your options, consult the Los Angeles incapacity, conservatorship,  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, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Encino, Hidden Hills, Irvine, Lake Sherwood, Laguna Beach, Orange, Oxnard, Pasadena, San Francisco,  Santa Monica, Simi Valley, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, 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, (714) 280-0601 in Orange County, or (818) 787-1011 in Westlake Village, or by using our online contact form.

On May 9, 2015, firm partner Yasha Bronshteyn attended the Conservatorship/PVP lecture presented by the Los Angeles County Bar Association.  This course provides an introduction and overview to attorneys new to or seeking to join the Probate Volunteer Panel; it satisfies certain  LASC Local Rules and California Rules of Court. Excellent course for PVP attorneys, offering the Court’s perspectives and different speakers’ insights on new developments and issues that frequently arise in the representation of conservatees and proposed conservatees.

Speakers Included:
Hon. Maria Stratton, Supervising Judge, Probate Department, Los Angeles Superior Court
Hon. Robert Wada, Los Angeles Superior Court

 

Issues of cognitive impairment which may require a conservtarshiop include: gavel

—  inability to resist fraud

— major impairment to short term, long term and immediate recall memory

— major impairment to verbally communicate

— severe disorganized thinking

— moderate hallucinations

— major impairment to perform simple calculations, plan simple tasks and reason logically

 

We are here to help you and your loved ones.  To discuss your needs and discover your options, consult the Los Angeles incapacity, conservatorship,  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, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Encino, Hidden Hills, Irvine, Lake Sherwood, 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.

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. Our experienced Los Angeles conservatorship attorneys are here to help clients in Santa Monica, Ventura County, Orange County and throughout Southern California defend their rights under the law. To contact our skilled attorneys, please contact Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP online or call us at (310) 914-3222 or (818) 787-1011.

gavelFirm partners, Alexander R. Ginzburg and Yasha Bronshteyn, attended the Elder Abuse Restraining Orders: Nuts, Bolts and Other Miscellany program which was presented on February 19, 2015, by the Los Angeles Bar Association-Trust & Wills Section.   

The program focused on discuss the requirements and procedures to obtain a temporary or permanent elder abuse and dependent adult abuse restraining order, and the crossover issues with conservatorship and trust matters the common problem of people abusing each other and the legal ramifications of that abuse. Speakers included the Honorable Lesley C. Green, Los Angeles Superior Court. 

Dependent adult abuse restraining order cases are filed in a special proceeding with a separate prefix.  For example, in Central the cases are identified with the BS prefix as opposed to the BP prefix for regular probate cases.  Elder or dependent adult abuse stay away orders may be issued upon reasonable proof of past acts of abuse.  Welfare and Institutions Code Section 15657.03  A court may make its findings in favor of granting a restraining order by a preponderance of the evidence.

Bookout v. Nielson, 155 Cal. App. 4th 1131, 1138 (4th District. 2007)) finding that Welfare and Institutions Code Section 15657.03 does not require a finding by a clear and convincing evidence.)   Instances of dependent adult or elder abuse may also require the establishment of a conservatorship to better protect and provide for the individual.  Pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 15657.3 (a)  to the department of the superior court having jurisdiction over probate conservatorships shall also have concurrent jurisdiction over civil actions and proceeding involving a claim for relief arising out of the abuse of an elderly or dependent adult, if a conservator has been appointed for the plaintiff prior to the initiation of the action for abuse.

At Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP we are dedicated to providing efficient, effective, 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, Bell Canyon, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Contra Costa County, Hayward, Encino, Hidden Hills, Irvine, Lake Sherwood, Malibu, Oakland, Oxnard, Pacific Heights, Palo Alto, Pasadena, Porter Ranch, Russian Hill, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Mateo, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Simi Valley, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, 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  Los Angeles estate and trust litigation attorneys in obtaining and defending against conservatorships. Contact us by calling (310) 914-3222 in Los Angeles, or (818) 787-1011 in Westlake Village, or (415) 465-6555 in San Francisco, or by using our online contact form.

 

2012-06-24 12.04.39

Firm partner, Yasha Bronshteyn, attended the Ex-Parte Probate Court Program Presented by Trusts and Estates Section of the Los Angeles Bar Association at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse 111 N. Hill Street, Los Angeles, California. Speakers included the Honorable Judge Daniel S. Murphy, Los Angeles Superior Court of Department 29. Additional speakers concerning Ex Partes, drop-off Ex Partes, Urgency, Irreparable Harm Issues, Procedures, and Orders were Regina E. Esteras, Los Angeles Superior Court, Probate Department and Darciann Horton, Los Angeles Superior Court, Probate Department.

In Court news it appears that the Stanley Mosk Courthouse will add two more probate Judges in early 2015. In addition, Judge Maria E. Stratton will take over as the presiding Probate Judge on January 1, 2015.

At Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP we are dedicated to providing efficient, effective, and affordable solutions to clients involved in conservatorship cases, trust and estate disputes, undue influence matters, trust contests, as well as other types of family law issues.

The issues in connection to the conservatorship are clear at times:

1. Is Proposed Conservtaee able to properly provide for his/ her personal needs for physical health, medical care, food, clothing and shelter? Cal. Prob. Code § 1801(a).
2. Is Proposed Conservtaee substantially unable to manage his/her financial resources or to resist fraud or undue influence? Cal. Prob. Code § 1801(b).

CONSERVATORSHIP OF THE ESTATE
There are two situations where a conservator of the estate may be appointed: (1) one who is
“substantially unable to manage … her own resources,” and (2) one who is “substantially unable to . . . resist fraud or undue influence.” Cal. Prob. Code § 1801(b).
Under a conservatorship estate, a conservatee is presumed to lack capacity to contract, to sell, transfer, or convey property, to make gifts, to incur debt, to delegate powers, to waive any rights or to serve as a fiduciary. Cal. Prob. Code § 2870, 1872. However, a conservatee is presumed to have the capacity to make medical decisions (Cal. Prob. Code § 2354) unless the court finds, pursuant to a petition requesting that the conservator have exclusive medical power under Cal. Prob. Code § 2355, that the conservatee lacks the capacity to give informed consent to any form of health care.

We are here to help you and your loved ones 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, Contra Costa County, Hayward, Encino, Hidden Hills, Irvine, Lake Sherwood,Malibu, Oakland, Oxnard, Pacific Heights, Palo Alto, Pasadena, Russian Hill, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Mateo, Santa Monica, Simi Valley, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, West Los Angeles, Westwood, 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 (415) 465-6555 in San Francsico, or by using our online contact form.

gavel.jpgLos Angeles Superior Court Case Number BP 145805 concerning the Appointment of the Conservatorship over the Person and Temporary Appointment of the Conservatorship over the Person of Casey Kasem had been filed on October 7, 2013. Casey Kasem had been the founder of “America’s Top 40”.

Update on the Conservatorship Petition alleging that Mr. Kasem has the following problems:

— major impairment to short term, long term and immediate recall memory
— major impairment to verbally communicate
— major impairment to perform simple calculations, plan simple tasks and reason logically.
— severe disorganized thinking
— moderate hallucinations
After Mr. Kasem had been checked out by police detectives and social services workers, last fall, as is typical in conservatorship matters.

Previously, Probate Volunteer Panel, Attorney Samuel Ingham, told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Roy Paul that he has visited Mr. Kasem and that he did not see the immediate need for a conservatorship but that he still lacked information about the former radio host’s doctors and treatments. Mr. Kasem is suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease, according to court filings by his adult daughter, Julie Kasem.

Judge Roy Paul has postponed any decision in the case until November 19, 2013, in Department 29 of the Los Angeles Superior Court so an investigation can be carried out into Kasem’s health and well being. The matter was again continued on December 20, 2013. Later on January 13, 2014, Mr. Ingham filed his PVP Report with the court. Ultimately, given that the an agreement was reached between Mr Kasem’s wife and daughter, on January 14, 2014, Judge Lesley C. Green, now presiding in Department 29 of the Los Angeles Superior Court denied the appointment of a conservator, but did grant the motion to seal records
At Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP we are dedicated to providing efficient, effective, and affordable solutions to clients involved in conservatorship cases, trust and estate disputes, as well as other types of family law issues. California law provides that conservatorships can be created for people who are incapacitated and cannot manage their own affairs. A conservator has many powers and responsibilities, which can include the ability to make medical and financial decisions on the incapacitated person’s behalf.

At its basic level a conservatorship is a protective court proceeding in which a judge appoints a responsible person (a “conservator”) to care for another adult who cannot care for themselves or their finances (a “conservatee”). The difficulties presented by the incapacity of a loved one are significant and the attorneys at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP the attorneys realize the emotional toll the process can take on all involved. Under Probate Code Section 810 all persons are rebuttably presumed to have the capacity to make their own decisions and be responsible for their actions. We assist families throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties, confronted with the permanent or temporary incapacity of a loved one by establishing and administering conservatorships.

In the event a person becomes unable to manage their own care or their finances, and does not have certain estate planning documents in place, a conservatorship proceeding may be necessary. A person may become incapacitated for many reasons, illness or disease such as Alzheimers or an accident.

If appropriate, the Court may appoint a conservator of the person, a conservator of the estate, or a conservator of both the person and estate of an adult [Prob. Code § 1800.3(a)(1)].

We can help individuals and families facing the prospect of obtaining a conservatorship or if appropriate contest the appointment of a conservator.

Probate Code Section 1800.3 provides:

If the need therefor is established to the satisfaction of the court and the other requirements of this chapter are satisfied, the court may appoint:
A conservator of the person or estate of an adult, or both.
A conservator of the person of a minor who is married or whose marriage has been dissolved.
No conservatorship of the person or of the estate shall be granted by the court unless the court makes an express finding that the granting of the conservatorship is the least restrictive alternative needed for the protection of the conservatee.

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, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Culver City, Encino, Hidden Hills, Irvine, Lake Sherwood, Oxnard, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Simi Valley, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, West Lake Village, 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.

gavel.jpgLos Angeles Superior Court Case Number BP 145805 concerning the Appointment of the Conservatorship over the Person and Temporary Appointment of the Conservatorship over the Person of Casey Kasem had been filed on October 7, 2013. Casey Kasem had been the founder of “America’s Top 40”.

Julie Kasem filed the Conservatorship Petition and the Petition for a Temporary Conservatorship, accusing Mr. Kasem’s wife of blocking her and her siblings from seeing their father and preventing them from making decisions about his medical care. Additionally, the Conservatorship Petition alleges that Mr. Kasem has the following problems:

— major impairment to short term, long term and immediate recall memory
— major impairment to verbally communicate
— major impairment to perform simple calculations, plan simple tasks and reason logically.
— severe disorganized thinking
— moderate hallucinations
It appears that Mr. Kasem has been checked out by police detectives and social services workers as is typical in conservatorship matters.

Counsel for Kasem’s wife of 33 years urged Judge Roy Paul of Department 29, to reject Julie Kasem’s petition outright saying the efforts by her and her siblings were hurting his client and the radio host. He said a 2007 document that appointed Julie Kasem as an overseer of her father’s medical care had been superseded by 2011 estate planning documents.

Probate Volunteer Panel, Attorney Samuel Ingham, told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Roy Paul that he has visited Mr. Kasem and that he did not see the immediate need for a conservatorship but that he still lacked information about the former radio host’s doctors and treatments. Mr. Kasem is suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease, according to court filings by his adult daughter, Julie Kasem.

Judge Roy Paul has postponed any decision in the case until November 19, 2013, in Department 29 of the Los Angeles Superior Court so an investigation can be carried out into Kasem’s health and well being.

At Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP we are dedicated to providing efficient, effective, 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, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Encino, Hidden Hills, Irvine, Lake Sherwood, Oxnard, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Simi Valley, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, 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.

gavel_bw.jpgA brief summary of the recent decision the California Court of Appeal- Second District, Division Three.

Conservatorship of Gregory D. (2013) 214 Cal.App.4th 62. Filed March 5, 2013.

The background in this case is that Gregory is a developmentally disabled adult, in his mid-20s. He was diagnosed with autism as a child. His parents, Joseph D. (Joseph) and Linda, obtained a divorce, and Gregory resided with each of his parents, at their respective homes, on alternating weeks. In 2005, Gregory reached the age of majority (18). In 2008, he moved into his own apartment, with supportive services which enable him to live independently.

In 2004, Linda and Joseph filed competing petitions to be named as the limited conservator of their son Gregory. In 2005, they entered into a settlement agreement setting the terms for Gregory’s limited conservatorship. Pursuant to said settlement agreement, Joseph withdrew his petition for conservatorship and stipulated to Linda’s appointment as Gregory’s conservator.

Linda contended that the visitation order of November 18, 2011, violated Gregory’s constitutional rights to liberty and privacy; the order directing termination of My Life Foundation as Gregory’s supported living services care provider was in excess of the trial court’s jurisdiction; and the order mandating disclosure of Gregory’s medical, financial and personal records to his parents violates Gregory’s constitutional and statutory rights of privacy.

Ultimately, the issue for the Honorable Court to determine was whether Linda has standing to assert these arguments.

The Court determined that the Conservatee’s mother lacked standing to appeal order on conservators’ petition setting his visitation schedule, directing change in his living services vendor and ordering disclosure of his personal, medical and financial records. Mother, who alleged only violations of nonappealing adult conservatee’s rights, was not an aggrieved party for purposes of appeal under Code of Civil Procedure section 902. “`One is considered “aggrieved” whose rights or interests are injuriously affected by the judgment.’ (County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 Cal.3d 730, 737 [97 Cal.Rptr. 385, 488 P.2d 953] ….) Conversely, `A party who is not aggrieved by an order or judgment has no standing to attack it on appeal.’ (Niles v. City of San Rafael (1974) 42 Cal.App.3d 230, 244 [116 Cal.Rptr. 733].)” (El Dorado Irrigation Dist. v. State Water Resources Control Bd. (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 937, 977 [48 Cal.Rptr.3d 468], italics omitted.)

The Court determined Probate Code section 1829, pertaining to the establishment of a conservatorship, provides: “Any of the following persons may appear at the hearing to support or oppose the petition: [¶] (a) The proposed conservatee. [¶] (b) The spouse or registered domestic partner of the proposed conservatee. [¶] (c) A relative of the proposed conservatee. [¶] (d) Any interested person or friend of the proposed conservatee.” (Italics added.)

This provision entitled Linda to participate in the conservatorship proceeding in the court below. However, merely because Linda was authorized to appear in the matter did not mean she was entitled to prosecute an appeal from the trial court’s order.

The Law Offices of Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP are dedicated to providing efficient and effective solutions to clients involved in conservatorships, elder abuse matters, trust and estate disputes, as well as family law issues. We serve clients in Los Angeles, Orange County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, and throughout Northern California. Our attorneys are renowned for producing high quality work and working diligently to achieve our client’s goals. Over the years we have developed a reputation for effective representation in complex and sophisticated matters. Contact us by calling (310) 914-3222 in Los Angeles, or (818) 787-1011 in Westlake Village, or by using our online contact form.

Gabor.jpgUpdate to a post from 2012 concerning the Conservatorship of Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Previously, Gabor’s only child, 64-year-old Constance Francesca Hilton, asked a California court to establish a conservatorship to mange her mother’s care and protect her assets. Zsa Zsa Gabor’s daughter filed a conservatorship petition to gain control over her mother’s assets after she accused Gabor’s husband, Frederic von Anhalt, of mishandling the estate. Hilton also asked that she be appointed her mother’s conservator. Last year, Hilton alleged in her court filing that von Anhalt isolated Gabor from family and friends and she was concerned because her mother appeared to be heavily sedated during each of her last two visits. Gabor’s husband of 25 years, 68-year-old Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, opposed Hilton’s petition. Von Anhalt countered that Hilton was unfit to serve as conservator and accused her of abusing a previous power of attorney.
It appears that recently, the Honorable Judge Reva Goetz, of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District has issued a one-page order that would extend the Frederic von Anhalt’s conservatorship over Zsa Zsa Gabor and her assets. The Judge Goetz originally appointed von Anhalt to be Gabor’s temporary conservator on July 11, 2012. The new order would extend the conservatorship until August 21, 2013.

Last summer, in a court filing, a doctor who evaluated Gabor cautioned that it was in the aging actress’s best interests to remain in a familiar environment. Dr. Debra Judelson described Gabor as bedridden and largely unresponsive. Judelson stated the actress became agitated whenever she was removed from the familiarity of her own bedroom. The doctor also reportedly witnessed Gabor calm down when her husband spoke to her or touched her hand.

A California conservatorship exists when a judge appoints a responsible person or other entity to care for an adult who can no longer manage their own financial matters or care for themselves. After a conservator is appointed by a court, he or she is responsible for the conservatee’s protection and care as well as the management of the individual’s assets. In general, a spouse or domestic partner, relative, interested governmental entity, interested person or friend, or the conservatee may request a California conservatorship. If you feel someone close to you would benefit from a conservatorship, contact a knowledgeable Southern California probate lawyer to discuss your concerns. We can be reach at (310 914-3222 or (714) 280-0601.

California law provides that conservatorships can be created for people who are incapacitated and cannot manage their own affairs. A conservator has many powers and responsibilities, which can include the ability to make medical and financial decisions on the incapacitated person’s behalf.

camerman-and-news-reporter-working.jpgA California woman serving as a conservator lost her defamation lawsuit against a Sacramento television station as an appeals court concluded that she could not prove that the reports aired the report with knowledge that their information was false, or at least reckless disregard for its falsity. In reaching it conclusion, the court in Young v. CBS decided that, because conservators are very powerful agents acting under the authority of a court order, and could reasonably trigger scrutiny by the public, they are public figures for purposes of defamation lawsuits. The ruling serves as a warning to any a conservator in California, making clear that, by accepting an appointment as a conservator, any person may subject him/herself to public figure status, and a much more difficult path to recovery, if he/she believes he/she is defamed by a news organization.

In November 2006, Sacramento County Adult Protective Services asked Carolyn Young to serve as the conservator for an allegedly incapacitated adult, 86-year-old Mary Jane Mann. Young, a professional conservator and fiduciary for more than a decade and a half, petitioned the court for the appointment. Almost immediately after the court appointed Young as temporary conservator, the senior and one of her daughters, Monika Mann, began contesting the conservatorship. A non-judicial mediation yielded an agreement where Young agreed to petition for dissolution of the conservatorship in exchange for Young becoming a co-trustee of Mann’s trust.
Shortly thereafter, the CBS television station in Sacramento, KOVR-TV, investigated the Mann conservatorship. A week later, KOVR aired a news story entitled “A Life Hijacked,” which stated that Young “effectively took over Mann’s life without Mann’s knowledge [including] Mann’s bank accounts, investments, and her trust. Young had Mann’s mail forwarded to her office and had Mann’s driver’s license lifted.” The report went on to claim, or insinuate, that Young stole from Mann, threatened her, battered her and trespassed onto her property.

Young sued CBS for defamation. On appeal, the California Court of Appeal ultimately ruled for CBS and ordered the trial court to dismiss Young’s lawsuit.

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