Message from the Chair
Welcome to the Trusts and Estates Section page! If you are a California lawyer who is not yet a member of the Section, I invite you to see what we have to offer and encourage you to Join the Section. If you are a current member, I hope you will explore the resources on our page and let us know what is. and what would be, useful to your practice.
More than 7,000 lawyers statewide are members of the Trusts and Estates Section of the California Lawyers Association (CLA). Our members have a broad variety of practices, including planning, administration, conservatorships, and litigation, and we enjoy a multi-generational mix of new and experienced attorneys.
The Executive Committee of the Section, commonly known as TEXCOM, is comprised of 35 attorneys who volunteer their time for a six-year term to work towards a logical development of the law in the field of trusts and estates. Applications to join the Executive Committee are accepted every year in the spring. Attorneys also may participate in the Section’s activities by volunteering to serve on one of our subcommittees.
All Section members receive the highly respected law journal Trusts and Estates Quarterly, both in hard copy and on this website, and have the opportunity to contribute articles for publication.
The Education subcommittee of TEXCOM produces webinars and seminars at least once a month for MCLE credit focusing on issues relevant to your practice. The Section provides seminars for its members at the CLA Annual Meeting. The Educating Seniors subcommittee produces a full day seminar on elder abuse issues each year.
Our Legislation subcommittee reviews every bill introduced in the Legislature to determine if any bills affect the practice of law in trusts and estates. The Section’s subcommittees Follow Legislation (some 103 bills in 2021) to their death or passage, often providing comment to our legislators. Statutory updates are reported to our members in The Quarterly at the end of the year.
Nearly every year TEXCOM authors Affirmative Legislative Proposals on topics affecting Section members, seeking a legislator to sponsor proposed bills. In 2020, amendments to Probate Code sections 21385 changing the presumption of undue influence created under Lintz v. Lintz (2014) 222 Cal. App. 4th 1346 emanated from TEXCOM, as did amendments to Probate Code section 21380 and 21611 protecting elders from caregivers.
TEXCOM selectively submits Amicus Curiae Briefs on topics affecting the development of the law of trusts and estates. TEXCOM submitted CLA’s first amicus brief and participated in oral argument at the California Supreme Court in Barefoot v. Jennings (2020) 8 Cal.5th 822.
As the pandemic hit, TEXCOM represented its members’ concerns regarding remote online notarization for estate planning documents; although the Governor did not issue an emergency order, TEXCOM has a seat at the table with other stakeholders interested in such notarization.
TEXCOM analyzes and comments on Uniform Laws such as the Uniform Trust Decanting Act enacted in 2018 and the currently proposed Uniform Fiduciary Income and Principal Act. The Section offers a Podcast with interviews with well-respected speakers about current issues, legislation and cases. The Section also provides expertise to practitioners through such publications as an Ethics Guide and the Practitioner Checklist for those selling, winding down or taking over the law practice of a disabled or deceased practitioner.
The Trusts and Estates Section is where practitioners keep up to date on trusts and estates law in California while interacting with the larger community of trusts and estates lawyers across the state. We thank our existing members for their support and welcome their input. We invite all California lawyers who are looking to start or build a trusts and estates practice to join our Section.
Matthew W. McMurtrey
Chair, Executive Committee of Trusts and Estates Section
Trusts and Estates Section
California Lawyers Association
400 Capitol Mall, Suite 650
Sacramento, CA 95814