Photo of Carlena L. Tapella

Carlena Tapella is Of Counsel in the firm’s Trusts and Estates practice group. Her practice encompasses all areas of trust, estate, and conservatorship litigation and administration.

In the recently published case of Hudson v. Foster, 2021 Cal.App. LEXIS 737, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, Division Five, determined that a former conservatee who discovered that certain transactions in his conservator’s previously approved accounting were falsely reported, was under no obligation to comb through records to verify the truth of the representations made by the conservator in the accounting.  The case is detailed with respect to the facts, but it puts fiduciaries on notice that full disclosure of material facts is required, and even slightly skewing the reporting of a transaction can be considered fraud.
Continue Reading Don’t Skimp on The Facts – Failure of Fiduciaries to Make Full Disclosure of Matters Set Forth in an Accounting May be Considered Fraud

August is national Make A Will Month, and a good time to make sure that your planning documents are in place.  Just under half of U.S. adults say that they have created a will or plan for how they would like for their estate to be handled after their death.  The Trusts and Estates attorneys at Weintraub Tobin have written frequently on this blog about the importance of having an estate plan, and about the difficulties (and even litigation) that heirs can face when a will is not in place.
Continue Reading Resources for National Make a Will Month (August)

As trusts and estates litigation counsel, we often have matters where a fiduciary, either as a trustee, conservator, personal representative, or agent under a power of attorney, fails to provide financial information when properly requested, or to provide an accounting if one is required under law.  The result is that the person seeking the accounting may be left with no alternative but to file a petition with the court for an order compelling the fiduciary to submit an accounting, most commonly by requesting that the accounting be filed within the court proceeding.
Continue Reading Bringing Down the Hammer – California Appellate Court Upholds $1,000 Per Day Sanction For Failure To Timely File Accounting

Planning for the end of one’s life, or potential incapacity, is probably something an individual in their 20’s, 30’s, or even 40’s does not want to contemplate.  Even those in their later years might find it a difficult topic to discuss.  However, there are several important reasons why one should strongly consider having a Will prepared, and perhaps other estate planning documents, such as an Advance Health Care Directive or Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Management, despite their being a member of Generation X, Y, or Z.  These scenarios are based on personal experience with cases handled by me and which could have been avoided with a bit of planning.
Continue Reading But I’m Too Young to Have a Will!

Conservatorship proceedings are commenced for a variety of reasons, but the most common circumstance is when an elderly person requires assistance, either with their medical care, or their financial affairs, or both, and that individual does not have an alternative in place which would eliminate the need for a conservatorship.
Continue Reading Lest We Forget, Conservatees Have Personal Rights