Articles Posted in Probate

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.

Looking forward to the presentation by the Trust & Estates Section of the Orange County Bar Association on October 6, 2015, at 5:30 P.M. at  Grand Catered Events • 300 S. Flower St., Orange 92868.  Moderators for the event will include Judge David L. Belz, Orange County Superior Court. Topics to include Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders on filing for Dissolution • Conflicts/Ethics • Estate Planning for the Divorcing Spouse • Transmutation • Pre- and Post-Nuptial Agreements • Marriage/Divorce under Conservatorship • Litigating Marriage/ Divorce • PC 3080/Family Law Property Settlement •  and Custody/Guardianship.

We are here to help you and your loved ones.  To discuss your needs and discover your options, consult the Orange County incapacity, conservatorship,  and estate planning attorneys at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP.  At Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP we are dedicated to providing efficient, 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.

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.

On March 24, 2015, the panel of Probate Judges discussed the current state of Probate Court in Los Angeles County and addressed questions and concerns submitted by members of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. Fortunately six probate judges from the Los Angeles Superior Court – Central District were able to attend the lunch at Lawry’s in Beverly Hills.  This program was presented by the Trust and Wills Section of the Beverly Hills Bar AssociationIMG-20120406-00236.
The Judges present were:

Judge David J. Cowan (Department 79)
Judge David S. Cunningham (Department 67)
Judge Lesley C. Green (Department11)
Judge Clifford L. Klein (Department 9)
Judge Daniel S. Murphy (Department 29)
Commissioner Brenda Penny (Department 9 /MSC)

This occasion presented an opportunity to discuss the current state of the Probate Court and addressed issues and concerns affecting the Court, the courtroom transitions and many other substantive issues.

In addition, The Timothy Whitehouse Award will be presented to the Honorable Brenda Penny for her outstanding contribution to the practice of Trusts & Estates over a long and distinguished career.

Overall a very informative presentation that was attended by firm partner and trust litigator, Yasha Bronshteyn.

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, Malibu, Oxnard, Pasadena, 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 or (818) 787-1011, or reach us by using our online contact form.

Fortunately we will see two more probate courtrooms at the Los Angeles Superior Court.  The additional two courts will give us a total of six at the Central Courthouse.IMG-20120406-00236

The six courts will be allocated as follows:

Dept. 5 (2nd floor): Judge Stratton
Dept. 9 (2nd floor): Judge Klein
Dept. 29 (2nd floor): Judge Murphy
Dept. 11 (2nd floor): Judge Green
Dept. 67 (6th floor): Judge Cunningham
Dept. 79 (6th floor): Judge Cowan

Commissioner Penny shall act as the floater – handling court coverage, conducting Settlement Conference, and so forth.

The sixth floor Probate Courts are expected to become fully operational on February 2, 2015, though there may be some transitional calendaring and activity. It is expected that he new system will work well, despite the separation of floors.  Ultimately, we will have a more reliable sense of bench placement, which will allow for greater case continuity as the same judicial offer will preside over a particular matter.  The goal  is to cause the calendar spread to  be wider thus alleviating the morning crunch.

At Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP we are dedicated to providing efficient, effective, and affordable solutions to clients involved in conservatorship cases, trust and estate disputes, incapacity, as well as other cases concerning revocable inter vivos trusts.

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, San Diego, 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, or (818) 787-1011 in Westlake Village, or by using our online contact form.

IMG-20120406-00236Hearing dates for probate matters at the San Francisco Superior Court located at  400 McAllister St., Department 204, San Francisco, CA 94102-4514 are assigned by the filing clerk at the time the petition is filed. The typical schedule for hearings is as set forth:

Appearance Hearings for Probate Matters other than Appointment of Guardians and Conservators, and Motions: 9 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Department 204.
Petitions for Appointment of Guardian: 1 p.m. on Tuesday in – Department 204.

Petitions for Appointment of Conservator, including other personal care issues such as placement: 9 a.m. on Thursday in Department 204.

Requests for Restraining Orders to Stop Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse for cases related to an Active Conservatorship: 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Department 204 or as specially set by Judicial Officer at time of issuance of Temporary Restraining Order.

Ex Parte matters: 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. — Monday through Friday, in Room 202.
Law and Motion Calendar: Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and Fridays, in Department 204.

Pre-Granted Orders are available in Room 103, Windows 24, 25, and 26 after 9:30 a.m. on the day of the hearing.

We are here to help you with your Probate Court needs.  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, San Francisco, Orange County, Ventura County, and throughout Southern and Northern California including Agoura Hills, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Encino, Hayward, Hidden Hills, Irvine, Lake Sherwood, Oakland, Oxnard, Palo Alto, Pasadena, San Bruno, San Francisco, San Mato, 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, (818) 787-1011 in Westlake Village, (415)465-6555 in San Francisco, or by using our online contact form.  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.

On February 25, 2014, firm partner and probate practitioner, Yasha Bronshteyn attended the Judges’ Panel presented by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. Speakers included Hon. Amy Hogue, Hon. Michael Johnson, Hon. Mary Ann Murphy, Hon. Dan Oki, and Hon. Frederick Shaller. The program provided a panel discussion of judges about the most common evidentiary mistakes made by trial attorneys and how to avoid them.

Key issues discussed included; Proper use of motions in limine to exclude evidence;
Use of evidence in opening statements; Philosophy and game plan for objections at trial;
Decorum/ Judges pet peeves; Oral/speaking objections; Laying the foundation for documents; Hearsay; Hearsay in documents; Use of depositions; Use of Experts; Requests for Judicial Notice; and Evidence in change of venue motions.

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.

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, pursuant to Government Code section 68086, the Court will collect a $30 fee for the services of an official court reporter, for each proceeding lasting one hour or less.

The Family Law and Probate divisions will collect the $30 court reporter fee at the time any document is filed that requires the Court to schedule a proceeding. The fee is due in addition to any other fee required and is the responsibility of the party or parties requesting that the proceeding be scheduled.

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.

Ventura County Probate Court Updates
Effective January 22, 2013, in the Superior Court, County of Ventura all Elder Abuse cases assigned to and heard in Courtroom 21 will be Assigned to and heard in Courtroom 32 on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. Ex-parte requests for temporary orders will be heard daily in Courtroom 32 at 11:30 a.m.

All probate matters are filed and heard at the Juvenile and Probate Courthouse in Oxnard. Hearings for Conservatorships are set Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. Hearings on Wills and Trusts are set Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 a.m. Hearings for Guardianship of the estate and person or the estate only are set Tuesdays through Fridays at 9:00 a.m.

Effective September 1, 2013, the Ventura Superior Court will collect a $5.00 Service Fee for all VISA and MasterCard payments that are accepted in person at the point of sale pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 10.820, Government Code, Section 6159 and applicable VISA and MasterCard merchant rules.

Given all of the ongoing budget issues in California and lack of funding at the local level, additional charges have been added and may be added in the future. Information about these and other changes can be found on the Ventura County Superior Court’s website at www.ventura.courts.ca.gov.

As an example of these new charges effects Wills. The clerk’s office will accept wills after the person who wrote it is deceased. There is a $50 fee for lodging a will with the court.

Orange County Probate Court Updates
The Santa Ana Courthouse stopped accepting family law case filings June 28, 2013, and all family law cases will be transferred to the Lamoureaux Justice Center at 341 The City Drive South in Orange.

All Probate and Mental Health cases previously being handled at the Lamoureaux Justice Center located at 341 The City Drive in Orange will be moved to the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana located at 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701.

Orange County court officials said the adjustments were necessary because of a lack of state funding.

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, (818) 787-1011 in Westlake Village, (714) 280-0601 on Orange County, or by using our online contact form.

conflict-.jpgA “no contest” clause is an item inserted into many wills and/or trusts to reduce the likelihood that a beneficiary will mount a court challenge to the document. The California legislature modified the statute governing no contest clauses in recent years, attempting to simply the law regarding these provisions. In the process, however, the state’s new statute creates some potential traps for the unwary beneficiary.

Under California law in effect before 2010, will or trust contests were a high-stakes, all-or-nothing proposition. For example, if a woman had a will that left her estate equally to her son and daughter but, shortly before her death and during a visit from her daughter, she created a new will, with a no contest provision, leaving 75% of her assets to the daughter, and 25% to the son, then the son would face a risky dilemma if he contested the new will. If he won, the first will would govern, and he would receive one-half of his mother’s estate; lose, and the no contest clause from the second will would take effect and he would receive nothing.

Finding the penalty of total forfeiture excessively punitive, the legislature changed the law, effective 2010. The new law states that forfeiture clauses are generally not enforceable against challengers if they had probable cause for bringing the action.

Beneficiaries should remain mindful, though, that there are indirect ways to trigger a forfeiture clause, some of which are not necessarily intuitive. In a 2002 case, Estate of Gonzalez, a group of siblings offered their father’s 1992 will for probate, which contained a no contest provision. A fourth sibling, Jorge Gonzalez, submitted for probate a 1998 will. The court concluded that the 1998 will was the result of Jorge’s undue influence, that Jorge knew the will was not valid and, by offering it for probate, he effectively challenged his father’s first will, and did so without probable cause. As a result, the no contest clause within the 1992 will was enforceable and Jorge received nothing from his father’s estate.

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money.jpgA now-deceased man’s estate planning oversight yielded a dispute that will now be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The case of Hillman v. Maretta pits the man’s ex-wife, whom he named, and never replaced, as the death beneficiary on a life insurance policy, and the man’s current wife, who claimed that the ex-wife lost her claim to the money when she and the man divorced.

In 1996, Warren Hillman named Judy Maretta, his wife, as the primary beneficiary on his Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) policy. Two years later, the couple divorced. Hillman married his subsequent wife, Jacqueline, in 2002. Warren and Jacqueline remained married until Warren died in 2008. However, Warren never updated his insurance policy to remove Judy and name a new beneficiary.

Jacqueline filed a claim for the policy benefit, which was nearly $125,000. Judy also filed a claim for the benefit. The money went to the ex-wife, as she remained the named beneficiary under the policy. Jacqueline sued, arguing that, under Virginia law, Warren and Judy’s divorce automatically revoked the beneficiary designation naming Judy. Judy contended, and the Virginia Supreme Court agreed, that the Virginia statute did not control here. The federal statutes governing FEGLI expressly state that the order of precedence for receiving a death benefit gives first priority to “the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by the employee,” (5 USC 8705(a)) and also that the “provisions of any contract under this chapter which relate to the nature or extent of coverage or benefits (including payments with respect to benefits) shall supersede and preempt any law of any State or political subdivision thereof… to the extent that the law or regulation is inconsistent with the contractual provisions” (5 USC 8709(d)(1).) The Virginia court determined that these federal statutes clearly pre-empted Virginia law and mandated awarding the funds to Judy.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take the case as a split had emerged over the question, with the Virginia and Alabama high courts, along with the federal 7th Circuit and 11th Circuit appellate courts, ruling that FEGLI’s governing statutes pre-empted state law, but the high courts in Indiana and Mississippi concluding that the federal statutes regarding FEGLI did not pre-empt state law.

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