Looking forward to the March 19, 2019, Probate Judges Lunch presented by the Beverly Hills Bar association-Trust and Estates Section.  This annual event is always well attended and a terrific opportunity to get the Judges’ perspective on court issues and policy.   Judges of the Probate Court for Los Angeles County will discuss the current state of the Probate Court and will address issues and concerns affecting the Court, the courtroom transitions and any other questions submitted by members.  In addition, the Timothy Whitehouse Award will be presented to Justice Maria E. Stratton for her outstanding contribution to the Probate Department of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  Lastly the Lunch will be attended by Supervising Judge David J. Cowan  as well as Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Judges Judge Clifford Klein (Department 9), Judge Daniel Juarez (Dept. 67, Judge Brenda Penny (Department 3), Judge Barbara Johnson (Dept 11) and Judge Paul Suzuki (Dept 79).

On February 5, 2019, Yasha Bronshteyn of Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, APC attended the program present by the Beverly Hills Estate Planning Counsil entitled Conquering The Unique Challenges Of Trust, Conservatorship And Probate Real Property Sales.  Trustees and Conservators often require specialized skills required to navigate these complex real estate transactions, Probate Court Rules and Probate Code Laws, as well as appropriate  the marketing and tax expertise to maximize and optimize the value of these properties.  It is importation to hire the correct attorneys; accountants, and other professionals to properly fulfill the fiduciary obligations of a Trustee or Conservator.

On February 7, 2019, Yasha Bronshteyn, Litigator and Firm Partner at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, APC attended the Los Angeles County Bar Association – Trust and Estates Law Section presentation entitled Solving the Mysteries of Accounting.  Mr Bronshteyn’s practice focuses on complex estate and trust  litigation, probate and trust administration, conservatorship and guardianship / family law matters.  His clients include individuals, families, the elderly, and private fiduciaries.

On January 8, 2019, Yasha Bronshteyn, Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, APC partner and litigator attended the SFVBA Probate & Estate Planning Section: Hot Topics in Bad Faith Objections presented by the San Fernando Valley Bar Association.

Accounting issues and disputes are common in Conservatorship and Trust matters.  A recent case on point is discussed below.

Probate Code Section 2100:

Firm partner, Yasha Bronshteyn, litigating Conservatorship, Trust Matters, and Accounting Matters attended the Los Angeles County Bar Association Presentation on September 13, 2018, at the Los Angeles Superior Court.  The presentation concerned different types of fiduciary accounts, including trust accounts, conservatorship accounts, and conservatorship accounts.  Turnout from our esteemed probate colleagues was excellent.  Also in attendance were Supervising Probate Judge David J. Cowan (Department 3) and probate Judge Paul T. Suzuki (Department 79).

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.  Attorney Bronshteyn also serves on the probate volunteer panel of the Los Angeles Superior Court, and has represented beneficiaries, executors, administrators, trustees, conservators, and conservatees, in court proceedings.  Contact us by calling (310) 914-3222 in Los Angeles,  (818) 787-1011 in Westlake Village, (714) 465-6566 in Orange County, or by using our online contact form.

Recently the appellate court decided a very impactful case in the area of trust litigation.  The case is known as Barefoot v. Jennings, 2018 WL 4292450.  Appellant, Joan Mauri Barefoot, is one of six children of Joan Lee Maynord. Maynord and her former husband, who died in 1993, established the Maynord 1986 Family Trust and Maynord served as the sole trustor following her husband’s death. Starting in August 2013 and continuing through 2016, Maynord executed eight amendments to and restatements of the Family Trust, referred to as the 17th through the 24th Amendments, with the 24th Amendment being the final amendment prior to Maynord’s death. It is in these amendments and restatements in which Appellant’s share of the Family Trust, described in the 16th Amendment, was eliminated and Appellant was both expressly disinherited and removed as successor trustee.

Attorney Yasha Bronshteyn of Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP successfully completed a conservatorship trial in the Los Angeles Superior Court, Central Branch. Judge William Barry presided over the trial. Dr. David Trader, a geriatric psychiatry specialist provided key testimony.

Issues / arguments at trial included:

The Petition to Transfer is in proper compliance with California Probate Code Section 2001 et seq., which states that a conservator appointed in California may petition the court to transfer the conservatorship to another state, assuming certain requirements are met. Prob. Code §2001.

On April 26, 2018, firm Conservatorship and Trust Litigation Partner, Yasha Bronshteyn, was fortunate to attend the Ventura County Bar Association – Probate and Estate Planning Section annual program with Ventura County Presiding Probate Judge Glen M. Resier regarding the state of the Probate Court, recent developments, changes and general concerns.  Judge Reiser served as Ventura Count’y only probate/trust/conservatorship judge between 2000-2004 and more recently from 2010 into 2018.

Our experienced Los Angeles conservatorship attorneys are here to help clients in Ventura County, Los Angeles, 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.  Our Offices are available to litigate disputes between heirs, trustees, executors, will contests, fiduciary matters, and conservatorships.  Our offices can also assist with trust administration, trust accounting, and financail elder abuse.

Recent Developments from Appellate Level:

On March 20, 2018, 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. Elizabeth Lippitt, Hon. Mary Thornton House, Hon. Barbara Johnson, Hon. David J. Cowan (presiding Judge), Hon. Clifford L. Klein , and Hon. Lesley C. Green (retired).

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

Judicial Assignment for Los Angeles County Probate Judges as of April 2018:

By Ashley Taylor of disabledparents.org

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 It’s never too early to start planning

Firm partner, Yasha Bronshteyn, litigating Conservatorship and Trust Matters, is looking forward to the Los Angeles County Bar Association Presentation on March 16, 2018, by Judge Klein and Judge Johnson of the Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Department.  Judge Klein presides in Department 9 and Judge Johnson presides in Department 11.  They will discuss their top 10 problems with probate and trust pleadings, accounting, and proposed orders and how to avoid them.  Cleary, appropraite counsel is required to efficiently and effectively navigate these sort of proceedings.

Next, On March 22, 2018, the Ventura County Bar Association – Probate and Estate Planning Section will present “Uncovering the Truth in Contested Proceedings”.  The Ventura Probate program is based on the notion that while most executors carry out their duties in good faith and to the best of their abilities’, there is a small but critical percentage that exploit their position of power.  Such such their is wrongdoing and fraud is at times committed against beneficiaries.  There have been an unacceptable amount of victims in such situations.  The program will focus on protecting beneficiaries’ (clients’) rights and where possible to enable recovery of assets.  The Ventura Bar program will commence at noon at the Tower Club in Oxnard.

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.  Attorney Bronshteyn also serves on the probate volunteer panel of the Los Angeles Superior Court, and has represented beneficiaries, executors, administrators, trustees, conservators, and conservatees, in court proceedings.  Contact us by calling (310) 914-3222 in Los Angeles, or (818) 787-1011 in Westlake Village, or by using our online contact form.

Alexander R. Ginzburg, Partner at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP and Edward Babakhani, Associate Attorney, at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP enjoyed the program scheduled by the Los Angeles County Bar Association -Trust and Estates Section scheduled for January 9, 2018, concerning summaries of 2017 cases that affect trust, estate and conservatorship matters.  The program commenced at 11:45 a.m. at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse located at 111 N. Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.  The speakers included Los Angeles Probate Court Presiding Judge David J. Cowan.

Next, the Los Angeles Superior Court – Probate Division has announced certain changes to Probate Court Judicial Assignments.  More specifically, effective Oct. 30, 2017, the Probate Division implemented the following changes:

• Judge Daniel J. Juarez is reassigned from the Mental Health Division to the Probate Division, to the Stanley Mosk Courthouse located at 111 N. Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.  The Department will be determined later as initially the honorable Judge Juarez will provide coverage for other probate judicial officers as required, and conduct settlement conferences.

Successfully fighting for our clients and no fear of taking matters to trial if necessary!

Ginzbug & Bronshteyn, LLP, is proud to share that firm partner Yasha Bronshteyn obtained a trial verdict in the Ventura County Superior Court in September of 2017 concerning a partition of real estate matter filed in the Ventura County Probate Court, which also involved allegations of undue influence by named beneficiaries and successor trustee of a family trust and lack of capacity by the settlor / decedent when creating the trust documents.

The major focus of defending the trust and trustee was applying the appropriate legal standards: “For purposes of this part [concerning capacity], there shall exist a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of proof that all persons have capacity to make decisions and to be responsible for their acts and decisions.” Probate Code section 810(a).

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