During these unprecedented times Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, APC is active and available to help you with the Court Process and is available to litigate matters.

Given the retirement of Probate Judge Elizabeth Lippitt,  Effective October 2, 2020, the Probate Division at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, 111 N. Hill Street, Los Angeles, will implement the following change:  Newly Appointed Judge Lee R. Bogdanoff will be assigned to Department 29 of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Bogdanoff to the court on August 28, 2020, to replace B. Scott Silverman.  Judge Bogdanoff received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

The September 2, 2020, Alameda County Probate Bench/Bar Meeting was sponsored  by the ACBA and EBTEL.  Alameda County Probate Judge Sandra Bean and Commissioner Ruben Sundeen presented a meeting on the new procedures and systems in place in the Probate Department during the Covid-19 crisis. Pursuant to Local Emergency rule 1.8b Remote hearings generally will be conducted through the BlueJeans audio and video conference platform.  Bluejeans can be accessed at https://www.bluejeans.com or through the Court’s BlueJeans web site at http://www.alameda.courts.ca.gov/Pages.aspx/Remote-Appearances-BlueJeans-.

Recent Court updates are as follows:

On June 5, 2020, Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile signed a General Order mandating facial coverings and social distancing requirements in all 38 Superior Court of Los Angeles County courthouses and courtrooms.

“The Court must fulfill its statutory duties while safeguarding the well-being of the public it serves,” Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile said. “The Court has taken extensive measures to reduce the number of persons coming to its courthouses, including limiting the matters to be heard on any given day, spreading out the scheduling of cases, directing prospective jurors to courtrooms instead of jury assembly rooms, facilitating remote telephonic/video court transactions with the virtual Clerk’s Office, online and remote Self-Help services, remote mediations, teleworking employees, encouraging counsel and litigants to appear remotely, and implementing scheduled appointments for in-person transactions at the courthouse.” The Order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. In addition, The Los Angeles Superior Court, intends to move forward with a court-operated telephonic and video appearance program. The initial service areas to be transitioned will be Probate* and Civil Mandatory Settlement Conferences.

During these unprecedented and unsettling times, we at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, APC are focused on ensuring the health and safety of our clients and our community. Despite the challenges associated with this pandemic, we will continue to operate and are fully accessible to our clients by electronic mail, telephone, and other remote options.

You can count on us to provide the same level of high quality, uninterrupted services we have in the past, while implementing the preventative health and safety measures recommended by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control.  We are standing by to assist you and may be contacted via telephone, email, fax, and mail.  We also have the capability of conducting multi-user meetings by teleconference.

We remain fully committed to our clients and their needs, and we send our sincerest wishes that everyone in our community stays safe and healthy.

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 § 3294West’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.

On October 5, 2019, Judge Reva Goetz (Ret.) and Attorney Yasha Bronshteyn of Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, APC presented at the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Trust and Estate Section – Aviva K. Bobb Advanced Training for Court Appointed Counsel. The topic concerned Family Law Issues in Conservatorship Proceedings.

The United States and California constitutions protect marriage as a fundamental right. Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) 135 U.S. 2584, 2591

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.

Yasha Bronshteyn of Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, APC is looking forward to the September 26, 2019, Palo Alto Bar Presentation concerning Litigation issues in Estate Planning. The Palo Alto Bar Association is known for informative and detailed programming. Interested to see what developments are identified at the presentation as litigation in the estate planning and trust formation area concerns all Californians whether middle class professionals or what may be considered the one percent ultra wealthy.   Mr. Bronshteyn knows from professional experience that a cross section of people are affected by estate litigation.  Mr. Bronshteyn litigates matters in Trust and Conversatorship matters Southern and Northern California. His clients include individuals, families, the elderly, and private fiduciaries.  He has worked on numerous high-stakes complex trust litigation matters and Represented defended owner of National Basketball Association sports team with respect to probate court proceedings and multi day trial after his wife petitioned for approval of the sale of the team without his consent under trust provision relating to incompetence.

On September 12, 2019, firm partners Alexander R. Ginzburg and Yasha Bronshteyn of Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, APC attended the program presented by the Santa Monica Bar Association.  Probate Judges were present for a discussion of local Trust and Estates practice before the Los Angeles Superior Court. Judges included: Hon. David J. Cowan, Supervising Judge of the Probate and Mental Health Departments of Los Angeles Superior Court, Hon. Brenda Penny, Assistant Supervising Judge of the Probate and Mental Health Departments of Los Angeles Superior Court, and Hon. Michael C. Small, Judge of the Superior Court, LASC Probate Department.  Topic includes Topic of discussion included appropriate notice requirements in Conservatorship matters, appropriate presentation of orders to judicial officers, adhering to the Cal. Rules of Court, file your Joint Trial Statement in advance, and the Long Cause Trial Courtroom.  In addition, discussion included proposed legislation to allow and implement electronic wills is coming.  Lastly, the judges discourage use of CourtCall.  Apart from the logistical annoyance, one judge said, “I like to look people in the eye.” Nevertheless, the Judges do allow CourtCall in the appropriate circumstance.

On August 12, 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 Impact of Anti-SLAPP Motions on Enforcement of No Contest Clause. The Program was well presented and covered the impact of the Key v. Tiller case on Anti-SLAPP Motions and the enforcement of no contest clauses. Mr. Bronshteyn’s practice focuses on complex estate and trust  litigation, probate and trust administration, conservatorship and guardianship / 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.

Firm partner and litigator, Yasha Bronshteyn presented a lecture at the South Bay Bar Association on May 9, 2019.  The topic at the Probate Section Luncheon was “Post-Death Trust and Will Contests.”

A major point of discussion was the case known as Barefoot v. Jennings, 2018 WL 4292450.  This case was widely criticized by Probate and Trust litigators when announced in the fall of 2018.  Attempts to have Barefoot republished were not successful and instead the California Supreme Court will review the case.

In summary the case concerns Appellant, Joan Mauri Barefoot, who 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.

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.

Contact Information