Hi, my name is John T. Anderson. Welcome to my blog! I have been practicing law in California since 1975 and have been the Chairman of the Estate Planning and Probate Section of the Long Beach Bar Association since the mid-1980s. I'm also certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. On this blog, you will find articles written by me regarding estate planning and probate in California. Many of these articles address recent changes in the law and summaries of the Long Beach Bar Association’s Estate Planning and Probate Section meetings. I hope that you find these articles helpful. If you would like more information about me or my law office, please visit my website at or contact my office at 562.424.8619.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

TIDBITS ON CALIFORNIA PROBATE: Insights from Orange County- A Combined Meeting of the Orange County Estate Planning and Elderlaw Sections

Judge Schulte:

You can know the outcome of your litigated probate matter . . . settle.

Three lawyer Pro Tems are available on Fridays for Settlement Conferences 3 ½ hours each.


One consideration is to relocate Probate back to the Santa Ana Central Court.  It won’t save money in Probate, but would open courtrooms to consolidate Family Law together in the current Probate Area.

Effective May 3, 2013 in L72: Motions will be heard on Friday at 1:30 instead of Thursday

Effective March 21, 2013 TSA’s will be Monday at 9 AM

Effective April 29, 2013:

    Judge Sherman to L-72 (Trials)
    Judge Schulte to Mental Health, and Ex-Partes, and Friday Trials
    Judge Lee to L-73 and Minors Comps. (Her background is in the Prosecutor’s Office and Juvenile Court).

The day is coming when the Probate Attorneys will not be available for hearings as they are now, as Pro Tems.  They do not want to do what Los Angeles does, which is to try matters in a series of afternoons over several days, weeks, or months.

E-filing, they believe, is great.  However, when a Request for Continuance or Stipulation of Settlement is e-filed, CALL THE CLERK where it was to be heard and give them a heads-up.

Currently, hearings on Accountings are being set out about five weeks and hearings on Trusts are being set out about seven weeks.

Judge Sherman:

Judge Sherman has handled Appointments for L-73 for three and a half years.  

Conservatorship filings are up 50% from 2011 to 2012, primarily due to Limited Conservatorships.  Investigators are overwhelmed, so matters are being set eight weeks out and only ten matters will be set on a daily calendar and others will be put-off nine weeks.  In Conservatorships of the Estate, where there are no problems, reviews are being set two years out for the first review and then three years apart after that.

Unless there is a fee waiver, he is ordering investigators fees to be paid.

He tries to review notes two days in advance to determine if they can be RFA.  Notes are changed/updated at 8-9 PM.

Anything filed less than five days prior to the notes coming-out will not be reflected in the notes.  If a matter has been filed, he may still see it if it is a paper document; but not if e-filed.

If you are requesting a continuance, include a suggested continuance date.

Dismissing a “Protective Matter” like a conservatorship or guardianship is not automatic.  The court will require proof that a person is not being left unprotected.

Leonard Baumgarten:

Problems he sees:

1.  Failure to use the  Ex-Parte worksheet and file before 2 PM the day before.
2.  Ex Parte Petitions should be brief.
3.  Give them a copy of any pending pleadings with the date of the next scheduled hearing.
4.  Submit a Proposed Order
5.  In Ex Parte matters, do not check Testate or Intestate box or date of Will.
6.  Do not ask for general powers.  (They cannot be granted Ex Parte).
7.  Include a copy of a sales agreement you seek to complete that Testator started.
8.  Failure to give notice to proposed conservatee.
9.  Failure to verify qualification for bond.
10.  Failure to give notice to children 12 years of age and older for guardianship.
11.  Fill-in Order as to who IS there (or is going to be there), only.
12.  Have your client sign the documents
13.  Consider bond requirements for interim Trustees (even when bond is waived in the document but not specifically for this person).
14.  If time is of the essence, file for a special date in advance of setting the matter for hearing, NOT after the fact to get a matter that is already set advanced.

Linda Martinez:

You must file your Notice of Hearing with Proof of Service or your Petition may not be read.

They are seeing 25-30 trust matters per hearing date.
As a Respondent, file Objections/Opposition as soon as possible.  Only one continuance will be allowed for this, then the court may deem objections waived.

Janet Christoffersen:

She reviewed some of the new laws, for example a sub-section of CCP §2025.290 requiring that a deposition shall be no more than one day (7 hours).  Otherwise you need to go through additional procedures to be permitted to conduct a longer deposition.

                                            John T. Anderson, Section Chair
                                                           LB Bar Assoc. Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law Section
                                                           Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the
                                                           State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

Copyright © 2013 by John T. Anderson
All articles by John T. Anderson may be copied for personal use, only. All articles or outlines from others may be used only with their personal authorization. Any approval is for personal use, only, and for non-commercial purposes.
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