Trust on Trial

California Trust and Estate Litigation

As the New York Times reported in December, “ChatGPT is, quite simply, the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the general public.” Built by OpenAI, a San Francisco-based company, ChatGPT has grabbed headlines over the last two months.
Artificial intelligence, including chatbots, has myriad applications in the practice of law. AI no doubt will generate extensive online content readily

Here’s another reason (uno más in Spanish) to create and properly execute a will. If your spouse or other trusted designee lives out of the country when you die, he or she won’t be eligible to administer your California estate. The recent case of Estate of El Wardani (2022) 82 Cal.App.5th 870, involving a San Diego couple who moved

California probate courts may appoint guardians ad litem (“GALs”) to represent the interests of those who cannot speak for themselves, including minors. While Probate Code section 1003 provides for the appointment of GALs, it does not speak to their removal. A recently published opinion, Chui v. Chui (2022) ___Cal. App. 5th ___ (“Chui II”) attempts, in a very limited holding, to

California trust and estate disputes often include claims that one or more family members have isolated or are isolating an elder for financial gain.  For example, Brother may have difficulty communicating with Mother and blame Sister for disabling or discouraging such contact.
Enter California Assembly Bill 1243.  Effective January 1, 2023, the Elder Abuse Act will allow interested parties

Traditionally, the creation of a valid will, in California and elsewhere, required strict adherence to certain formalities.  Estate law has been tepidly moving away from requiring compliance with those formalities, with a goal of prioritizing the intent of the person creating the will (the “Testator”).  Nine states have gone so far as to enact laws that authorize electronic wills.
While

Operators of skilled nursing facilities want their patients to enter into arbitration agreements.  While such agreements don’t eliminate the risk of litigation, they at least reduce the expense and exposure associated with potential jury trials.
California appellate courts, however, have taken an ever narrower view of who can sign arbitration agreements on behalf of patients.  Just over the last few years,