Trusts and Estates

Ca. Trs. & Estates Quarterly 2021, Volume 27, Issue 3


By Ellen McKissock, Esq.*

As we hope to be putting the pandemic behind us and I wrap up my term as Chair of TEXCOM, the Executive Committee must say farewell to two extraordinary members who are completing their terms on TEXCOM.

Stella Pantazis is the Senior Court Staff Attorney for San Francisco Superior Court—an impressive and time-consuming position in and of itself. Stella also participates in the Probate Mental Health Advisory Committee ("PMHAC"), which is a part of the judiciary that makes recommendations to the Judicial Council for improving the administration of decedent estates, conservatorships, guardianships, and on mental health and developmental disability issues. Stella joined TEXCOM six years ago, and despite her significant time commitments to the San Francisco Superior Court and PMHAC, Stella has led TEXCOM’s Educating Seniors subcommittee for years, organizing the popular, full-day Annual Financial Elder Abuse Symposium that took place in early May. The Symposium was originally an in-person event, but undeterred, Stella pulled off a fantastic remote symposium, during Covid. We will miss Stella’s professional decorum, her extensive knowledge in this field, and I personally will miss her friendship.

Cheryl Forbes stepped in to fill a void and has done a wonderful job. From time to time we lose a member of TEXCOM to the judiciary or retirement and look for someone to complete that six year term. Cheryl stepped forward and coming from Red Bluff in Tehama County, she probably travels the farthest of any TEXCOM member to participate in our in-person meetings. Cheryl is an estate planner and during her truncated term on TEXCOM she served on the estate planning and trust & estate administration subcommittees. Cheryl has been involved in tracking legislation for TEXCOM that proposes to adopt the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act ("UPHPA"). UPHPA, if adopted, would give cotenants not requesting partition the option to buy the interests of those requesting partition in order to help preserve family wealth passed to the next generation in the form of real property. Current law requires the court to determine the interests of all owners and divide it accordingly or sell the property. Cheryl has been an upbeat member of TEXCOM and we will all miss her (and the beautiful views we see behind her when we are on Zoom too!).

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