Trusts and Estates

Ca. Trs. & Estates Quarterly 2020, Volume 26, Issue 1

FROM THE CHAIR

By Mark S. Poochigian, Esq. *

The efforts of the Executive Committee of the Trusts and Estates Section (TEXCOM) to support members of our Section play out in a variety of ways. Of course, TEXCOM prides itself on its educational offerings and its publication of the California Trusts and Estates Quarterly. Education, publications, e-mail alerts, and social media posts are all intended to provide Section members with timely and reliable information that help them practice trusts and estates law at the highest level.

With the legislative season upon us, I will focus in this column on another area in which some of TEXCOM’s most important work takes place: participation in the legislative process. TEXCOM’s legislative efforts generally fall into one of two broad categories: (1) reviewing, monitoring and commenting upon pending legislation proposed by others, and (2) sponsoring legislative proposals of its own.

For most of the first half of any given calendar year, much of TEXCOM’s attention is devoted to reviewing pending legislation and taking appropriate positions. In 2019, there were more than 2,600 bills introduced in the California Legislature. Every one of those bills was reviewed by TEXCOM’s Legislation Committee, which is charged with identifying those bills that are of interest to trusts and estates practitioners (and culling the vast majority that are outside of our practice area). Each bill identified as being of potential interest in this "first pass" was subject to closer inspection by the relevant TEXCOM substantive committees; many bills were dropped at this stage, but more than 100 bills were selected for TEXCOM and its committees to monitor on behalf of Section members. For these bills having a potential impact upon our area of practice, TEXCOM’s level of engagement varied: TEXCOM merely followed some of the bills,1 supported others, opposed one or two, and provided technical comments where appropriate—all drawing upon the training and experience of TEXCOM members in order to clarify and strengthen California trusts and estates law. The Legislature reconvened on January 6, 2020, the process has begun anew, and TEXCOM’s work on legislation this year will continue for the next several months.

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