Trusts & Estates Law Blog

Category Archives: Estate and Trust Planning

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The Tale of Choupette the Cat and Other Common Issues in Trust and Estate Litigation

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning
When Karl Lagerfeld passed away in February of 2019 in France, many speculated that his cat, Choupette, was well provided for as part of his estimated $150 million estate. This pampered feline was much loved by Mr. Lagerfeld during his life, and appeared in photoshoots and featured in many high-end fashion magazines. However, over a… Continue Reading

This Time, It’s Personal: Beware The Misleading Use of “Personal Property” In Your Estate Planning Documents

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning
It is generally accepted that “personal property” refers to all property aside from real property. But in California, that isn’t always the case when it comes to making gifts of your property in a will or a trust.  California courts actually look to the language used in a document making a gift of “personal property”… Continue Reading

When Do You NOT have the Right to Remain Silent? Conservatorship Proceedings and Equal Protection Clause Claims

Posted in Conservatorship, Estate and Trust Planning
Thanks to Law and Order, we’re all familiar with the beginning of a person’s Miranda Warning: “You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”  What many may not know, however, is that this is a right only afforded to those involved… Continue Reading

Casebriefs – How Recent Decisions Could Impact You

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning
In our monthly department meetings, the trusts and estates group at Weintraub keeps current by reviewing recent cases and discussing how they could affect our practice. See below for some highlights from the past few months: Pena v. Dey – When is Self-Help Enforceable? (Filed August 30, 2019) The gist: James Robert Anderson established a… Continue Reading

What Aretha Franklin’s Estate Teaches Us About the Pitfalls of Handwritten Wills

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning, Trust
Typically, only those of us who are trusts and estates attorneys geek out over the fascinating problems that handwritten wills create. But when those wills were written by a music icon worth $80 million, suddenly this topic is intriguing to a much broader audience. Aretha Franklin died on August 31, 2018. Her family was confident… Continue Reading

Focus on Fiduciaries: What Fiduciaries Need to Know About the Attorney-Client Privilege

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning, Fiduciary
Businesswoman on phoneLast month, my Weintraub colleagues and I had the pleasure of speaking at the Professional Fiduciary Association of California annual conference on the topic of the attorney-client privilege and its application to clients serving in a fiduciary capacity (trustee, executor, conservator, agent, etc.). Most people have a cursory understanding of what the attorney-client privilege does –… Continue Reading

A Case Lesson in “What Not To Do” When Billing as a Conservator

Posted in Case Alerts, Estate and Trust Planning, Fiduciary
Based on recent appellate cases, one of which is discussed below, the court’s scrutiny of conservators’ conduct and, specifically, private fiduciaries, is seemingly on the rise. Private fiduciaries acting as conservators should always remain focused on performing and charging only for those services that are consistent with the best interests of their conservatees. California case… Continue Reading

And You Are? Long Lost Relatives Need to Prove Up Their Entitlement to Inherit

Posted in Case Alerts, Estate and Trust Planning
Under California law, the laws of intestacy control who inherits when a person dies without having prepared a valid will or trust. These rules can be complicated particularly as remote or even unknown blood relatives may have a claim to assets of the decedent’s estate. However, these long lost relatives often must prove up their… Continue Reading

Gary D. Rothstein to join Weintraub Tobin

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning, Probate and Elder Abuse Litigation, Trust
Weintraub Tobin is pleased to announce that Gary D. Rothstein has joined our San Francisco office as Of Counsel. Gary comes to us Weintraub from a national law and consulting firm. Gary has extensive experience with all aspects of trust administration, probate matters and estate planning. With offices in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and Sacramento,… Continue Reading

Trusts & Estates Case Alert: Another California Appellate District Adopts Anderson v. Hunt Reasoning in Assessing Capacity to Execute a Trust Instrument

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning, Probate and Elder Abuse Litigation
The California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District issued a ruling Tuesday in Lintz v. Lintz, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 27 (6th Dist. January 14, 2014) adopting the reasoning of the Second Appellate District regarding the standard for legal capacity to execute a trust instrument (as announced by the Second Appellate District in… Continue Reading

Avoiding Acceleration: How to Put the Brakes on Due-on-Sale Clauses when Funding Your Revocable Living Trust with Encumbered Real Property

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning
When it comes to setting up a revocable trust, most people are primarily concerned with avoiding the time and expense associated with the probate process. To avoid probate, it is crucial that legal title to any real property is transferred to the trustee of the trust. In discussing the importance of funding the trust with… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules DOMA Section 3 Unconstitutional

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning
Today the United States Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.  The case, United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ____ (2013), involved the portion of DOMA that stated that the federal government will only recognize marriages between opposite-sex spouses for purposes of federal law.  There are… Continue Reading

Marriage Equality Returns to California

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning
The United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Hollingsworth v. Perry, 570 U.S. ___ (2013), this morning, regarding the validity of Proposition 8.  The outcome is that same-sex marriage is once again legal in California.  The Supreme Court did not rule on a specific right to same-sex marriage, but rather it stated that neither… Continue Reading

NEW U.S. SUPREME COURT CASE HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF UPDATING BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS UPON DIVORCE

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning
Retirement plans and life insurance and annuities often constitute a large portion of a client’s estate.   At death, these plans are distributed by beneficiary designation, not by the client’s Will or trust. Many clients are aware that under California law (unless a Will specifically provides otherwise) bequests made to the former spouse in a Will… Continue Reading

Estate Planning 101: Getting Started

Posted in Estate and Trust Planning
Getting started with estate planning can seem like a daunting task. The various documents and the vocabulary can be confusing if you’ve never seen them before. Here’s a guide to the basics of a foundational estate plan: Trust: A trust is an agreement that makes it easier to manage assets during your lifetime and after… Continue Reading