Legal Updates

The Tax Court has ruled that Code Sec. 408(d)(3)(B)'s one-rollover-per-year rule applies to all of a taxpayer's IRAs, not to each of his IRAs separately. IRS's position in this case, and the Court's holding, are at odds with IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements. Bobrow, TC Memo 2014-21

The 2008 amendment to the Civil Code Sec. 3344.1(p), which provides that a deceased celebrity’s right of publicity is descendible, did not create a new right to the interests in community property for a party who received a settlement before the amendment went into effect expressly waiving claims to additional property interests. Res judicata barred relief to a petitioner making the same assertion of primary rights-—a claim of a community property interest in the right to publicity-—as in the previously settled litigation. Crosby v. HLC Properties; Ltd. - filed January 29, 2014, Second District, Div. Three Cite as 2014 S.O.S. B242089. Read more

January 2014:

Lintz v. Lintz-- 2014 S.O.S. H037738
Discusses the application of the testamentary capacity standard under Probate Code section 6100.5 versus the sliding-scale contractual standard in sections 810 and 812 where a trust instrument addressed community property concerns, income distribution for a surviving spouse, and the creation of multiple trusts. Read more.

November 2013:

Castellon v. U.S. Bancorp-- 2013 S.O.S. B245651
Where real property is held in a trust, the trustee is only personally liable for injuries suffered on the premises if the trustee was "personally at fault" and intentionally or negligently committed a tort within the meaning of Probate Code sections 18001 and 18002. Read more.

Steinberg v. Commissioner-- 141 T.C. No. 8 (September 30, 2013)
The US Tax Court decided that the value of a gift may be reduced by the donees’ assumption of the potential estate tax liability of the donor’s estate. Read more.

October 2013:

Bridgeman v. Allen-- (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 288
Notification of Trustee is served when deposited in the mail and CCP sections do not apply.  An earlier filed petition that was dismissed without prejudice does not form a basis to relate back to that petition. Read more.

Benson v. Marin County Assessment Appeal Board-- 2013 S.O.S. A134340
Under Proposition 13, there is a "change of ownership" where one of two brothers severed a joint tenancy by deeding the property to himself and his brother as tenants in common.  The event triggered a reassessment despite the fact that the brothers continued to own the property equally. Read more.

July 2013:

Straley v. Gamble-- (2013) 2nd Dist., Div. 2, B240380
The California Court of Appeals considered the statute of limitations to challenge a trust amendment.  It also held that a petition contesting a trust did not need to be served on trustee prior to 120-day statutory deadline to "bring an action." Read more.

In Re the Marriage of Greenway-- (2013) 4th Dist., Div. 3, G045949
A family law matter that provides a detailed discussion of the way in which mental capacity is determined under Probate Code sections 810 to 812, and 6100.5. Read more.

Recent Court Notice and Updates:

  1. In Los Angeles Superior Court, Probate and Family law Divisions, effective January 1, 2014, the Court will collect a $30 fee for the services of an official court reporter for matters lasting one hour or less. Read more.
  2. Notice of Fee Changes effective January 1, 2014. Learn more.
  3. In Los Angeles Superior Court, beginning February 3, 2014, Probate Division has made changes to judicial assignments. Read more.

The value of a financial advisor’s book of business acquired during marriage was a valuable community property asset. Bonuses derived from it were not precluded from being divisible community assets despite being subject to contingencies to be satisfied after separation. A deferred bonus to be paid at a later date, contingent upon spouse’s continuous employment until such later time, was separate property because prior to the vesting date spouse had no enforceable right to receive it. Read more.

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