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Firm partner, Yasha Bronshteyn, attended the People Behaving Badly: Trustees and Beneficiaries Abusing Each Other and Settlors program which was presented on September 19, 2014, at the Millennium Biltmore Grand, by the Los Angeles Bar Association-Trust & Wills Section.   

The program focused on the common problem of people abusing each other and the legal ramifications of that abuse. The first panel discussed how some trustees abuse their fiduciary responsibilities and how beneficiaries may take advantage of their trustees. The second panel will discuss what constitutes criminal elder abuse, how to report elder abuse in all its forms to the authorities, and what to expect after such a report has been made.

This panel examined conflicts that arise between beneficiaries and trustees regarding administration of trusts.  Focus was directed on areas in which conflict often arises, such as asset risk tolerance, asset selection, asset concentrations, discretionary distributions, notice to remainder beneficiaries, the party’s view of their role, and regulatory compliance requirements.  Drawing from their numerous years of experience in resolving fiduciary conflicts, the speakers will shared examples of conflicts that have arisen and methods they have discovered which can minimize litigation.

Brenda Penny has been elected a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner, Presiding Judge David Wesley informed judicial officers. Brenda Penny has been hearing the morning probate calendar in Department 5 of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District. Commissioner Penny, a former probate attorney for the Court, was elected in balloting by the court’s judges. The Court has had a commissioner post open since David Cowan, who hears Probate Matters in Department 9 of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District, was recently appointed as a judge.

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 cases concerning revocable inter vivos trusts.  Incapacity may be relevant in all of these types of cases.  California law on incapacity can be very complex when it applies. Probate Code section 810 provides for a “rebuttable presumption” with respect to capacity: 810. The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(a) For purposes of this part, there shall exist a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of proof that all persons have the capacity to make decisions and to be responsible for their acts or decisions.

Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP, firm partners are looking forward to attending the Los Angeles County Bar -Trusts and Estates Section reception honoring the Probate Department of the Los Angeles Superior Court on the evening of June 17, 2014, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, located at 555 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, California 90012.

Trusts and Estates Section members, Probate Court staff, County Counsel, and Judges will all be in attendance.

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.

On March 18, 2014, 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 seven of the nine probate judges in Central District were able to attend the lunch at Lawry’s in Beverly Hills. The Judges present were:

Supervising Judge Michael I. Levanas (Department 5)

Judge Reva G. Goetz (Department 9)

Current update to the roster of Probate Judges in Los Angeles County.

Presiding Judge David M. Wesley has named new supervising judges for the Probate Departments and South District of the Los Angeles Superior Court, effective January 1, 2014.

Judge Michael I. Levanas, currently assigned to Department 11 of the Central District of the Los Angeles Superior Court was named supervising judge of probate and Judge Michael Vicencia was named to helm the Long Beach-based district of the court. They replace Judges Mitchell L. Beckloff, currently assigned to Department 5 of the Central District of Los Angeles Superior Court and James Otto, respectively.

Just recently the Assembly approved Bob Wieckowski Bills concerning the personal rights of conservatees.

On May 16, 2013, the California State Assembly approved three bills and a resolution authored by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski, a Democrat representing the 25th District in Fremont, including items to protect the rights of conservatees and urge congressional action on student loan debt. All four measures now head to the state Senate.

The purpose of AB 937, which was overwhelmingly approved 68-3, is to protect conservatees from conservators who are overstepping their bounds.

Firm partner, Yasha Bronshteyn was in attendance at The Beverly Hills Bar Association sponsored Lunch with the Probate Judges on March 19, 2013, at Lawry’s in Beverly Hills. Supervising Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff, Judge Reva G. Goetz, Judge Michael I. Levanas, and Judge Roy Paul were part of the distinguished panel and addressed questions and concerns which were submitted by the Trust & Estates Members Section.

In essence California’s budget crisis is bringing about drastic change at the courts, affecting practitioners of all types, including those handling trust & estate litigation, special needs trusts, trust contests, fiduciary accounting, trust accounting, probate administration, conservatorships, and elder abuse.


Day long conference to be presented on November 9, 2012, by USC Gould School of Law at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. Always top notch program. Subjects to be covered this year include Recent Developments in Probate and Trust Law, Current Elder Law Issues and Practical Considerations, Creditor Claims, Trustee Compensation, Recent California Legislation, and Anticipated 2012 Sunset of Complex and Controversial Tax Acts of 2001.

On September 19, 2012, firm partner, Yasha Bronshteyn attended the Special Needs Trust Seminar presented by Wells Fargo Bank and sponsored by the Barlow Foundation, Goodwill Southern California, and the United Rescue Mission. The assets in a properly established Special Needs Trust (SNT) will not be counted toward the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medi-Cal and In-Home Support Services (IHSS) asset limit of $2000 for an individual.

California Probate Code Section 3604 states that if a court makes an order under Section 3602 or 3611 that money of a minor or person with a disability be paid to a special needs trust, the terms of the trust shall be reviewed and approved by the court and shall satisfy the requirements of this section. The trust is subject to continuing jurisdiction of the court, and is subject to court supervision to the extent determined by the court.

Depending on particular circumstances notice of the time and place of the hearing on the Petition to Exclude Funds from Estate and to Direct Payment to Special Needs Trust and a copy of the petition will be given to the State Director of Health Services, the State Director of Mental Health and the State Director of Developmental Services as required by law.

On August 22, 2012, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff finalized a co-guardianship agreement for the late Michael Jackson’s three children. Katherine Jackson and T.J. Jackson, will be sharing the responsibilities concerning Prince, 15, Paris, 14, and Blanket, 10. During an earlier hearing on August 2nd, Judge Beckloff said a court appointed investigator had visited Katherine’s home in Calabasas, California and that she has been doing a “wonderful job” as guardian and that the children love her. Beckloff also went on to say that the “kids have a substantial, significant relationship with T.J. Jackson and love him very much.”

California guardianships most commonly apply to children whereas conservatorships most commonly apply to adults. The purpose of Guardianships is to provide individuals with legal authority to watch over the well being of a minor child. The guardian of the person has the responsibility for the care and custody of the child. As guardian, responsibilities include providing for food, clothing, shelter, education, and all of the medical and dental needs of the child. The guardian must also provide for the safety, protection, and physical and emotional growth of the child. The guardian is also responsible for decisions regarding the education, residence, and medical treatment of the child.

For more information about guardianships and conservatorships, contact the Calabasas Probate attorneys at Ginzburg & Bronshteyn, LLP.

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