Yasha Bronshteyn’s first speaking engagement of 2020 was the continuing legal education seminar for the Trust and Estates Section of the Santa Monica Bar Association. On January 30, 2020, at the JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigo, Yasha Bronshteyn of Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, APC, presented on the family law issues in conservatorship proceedings. Issues included whether a person under a conservatorship can determine that they want to marry or divorce their souse. Probate Code §1900 – The appointment of a conservator of the person or estate or both does not affect the capacity of the conservatee to marry or to enter into a registered domestic partnership. The case that is directly on point is IRMO Greenway 217 Cal.App.4th 628, 639 (2013). The issue being – Did Mr. Greenway have capacity to divorce Mrs. Greenway? The analysis must start with Probate Code Section 810 (Rebuttable presumption all persons have capacity to make decisions and be responsible for their acts or decisions, (b) – Person with mental or physical disorder may still be capable of…marrying and Probate Code Section 811 (Lack of capacity if mental deficit(s) significantly impare person’s ability to understand and appreciate the consequences of his or her actions regarding the type of action or decision they are undertaking).
Another issue discussed was the Family Code provision that remedies for a spouse’s breach of the fiduciary duty owed to the other spouse when the breach falls within the ambit of the Civil Code definition of fraud shall include, but not be limited to, an award to the other spouse of 100 percent, or an amount equal to 100 percent, of any asset undisclosed or transferred in breach of the fiduciary duty, is that an award of attorney fees is discretionary, and over and above the mandatory award of the entire asset at issue. West’s Ann.Cal.Civ.Code § 3294; West’s Ann.Cal.Fam.Code §§ 721(b), 1101(h). An important case in this area is In re Marriage of Rossi, 90 Cal.App.4th 34 (2001) 108 Cal.Rptr.2d 270, 01 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 5307, 2001 Daily Journal D.A.R. 6401. The Rossi matter concerned one spouse filing for divorce while trying to secret her lottery winnings from her husband. The failure to properly disclose and the breach of the fiduciary duty resulted in the breaching spouse forfeiting the entire lottery winning to the other spouse.
Mr. Bronshteyn’s practice focuses on complex estate and trust litigation, probate and trust administration, conservatorship, and family law matters. Mr. Bronshteyn is actively engaged in the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), as a member of the Executive Committee of the LACBA Trust & Estates Section.