Trusts and Estates

Ca. Trs. & Estates Quarterly 2019, Volume 25, Issue 4


Pursuant to rule 8.520(f) of the California Rules of Court, the Executive Committee of the Trusts and Estates Section of the California Lawyers Association ("TEXCOM") respectfully requests that it be permitted to file the accompanying amicus curiae brief on the issue before the Court of whether a former beneficiary of a trust has standing under section 17200 of the Probate Code to challenge the validity of amendments to the trust that resulted in her disinheritance. While TEXCOM advocates for a result that favors Petitioner Joan Mauri Barefoot in this matter and disagrees with the main arguments raised by the Respondents, TEXCOM also has concerns regarding many of the arguments advanced by the Petitioner. TEXCOM’s goal is to assist the Court in understanding the nature of trust contests, the applicable law, and the practical effects of conferring or denying standing to contestants such as Petitioner who wish to challenge modifications to a trust that had the effect of disinheriting them.

A. Statement of Interest of Amicus Curiae

The Board of Governors of the State Bar of California established the Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Section in 1976. In 2002, the Section changed its name to the Trusts and Estates Section. As of January 1, 2018, the California Lawyers Association ("CLA") is the new home of all of the Sections formerly governed by the State Bar, along with the California Young Lawyers Association. The Trusts and Estates Section has approximately 6,500 members throughout the State of California and includes attorneys who specialize in drafting testamentary instruments and administering trusts and estates, trusts and estates litigators, superior court staff attorneys, and law professors.

TEXCOM’s mission is to further the knowledge and enhance the competence of practitioners in the areas of trusts and estates laws through educational programs and opportunities; to monitor and actively participate in the development of laws and regulations that impact the field of trusts and estates; and to provide educational programs to advance the knowledge and enhance the general welfare of seniors in the state.

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