On September 30, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California AB 1194 amending numerous statutes pertaining to conservatorships.  The following are highlights:

Internet Posting of Fees of Licensed Professional Fiduciary:  On or before January 1, 2023, an individual licensed as a professional fiduciary (LPF) by the State of California, and who has an internet website, is required to post on their website a schedule or range of the LPF’s fees, including, but not limited to, the LPF’s hourly rate for services rendered.
Continue Reading Governor Gavin Newsom Signs Sweeping Conservatorship Reform Bill

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

Family Drama

Casey Kasem’s three adult children from his first marriage have spent the last several months in L.A. County Superior Court fighting their stepmother, Jean, for control of their father’s personal affairs through a conservatorship proceeding.

Casey’s daughter Julie originally filed a petition seeking to be appointed conservator of her father based on claims that Jean had been isolating the beloved American Top 40 host since he became essentially bedridden this past summer due to advanced Parkinson’s Disease. The petition alleged that their stepmother (best known for playing the wife of Nick Tortelli on “Cheers”) has refused their visits despite their father’s requests. Since such accusations of isolation are considered a form of elder abuse in California, Jean naturally denied these claims, saying that unspecified “disturbing” conduct by the stepchildren would make visits in the family home an “intolerable and unpleasant experience for us all, including specifically [for] Casey.”

Despite the accusations of abuse, the children’s request for an emergency conservatorship was denied on November 19, 2013. At that hearing, the judge indicated that Casey was “receiving either good to excellent care” and found “no good cause for a temporary conservatorship.” However, the independent court investigator’s report confirmed that Casey wants to see his children. In light of this, the court instructed each side to set aside its “bad blood” and attempt to resolve their problems. Predictably, Jean’s initial offer to allow the children to see their father for one hour per month under heavy security was rejected by the children. Jean and Julie announced at the December 20, 2013 hearing that they have reached a settlement regarding visitation, though the details were not revealed. Casey’s other daughter, Kerri, has so far been unwilling to agree to the restrictions Jean wants to place on visitation and says she may file a petition to see her father without those restrictions.


Continue Reading Celebrity Trusts & Estates: Casey Kasem Conservatorship Battle Highlights the Need for Clarity Regarding Control over Visitation