Serving as the neutral fiduciary in litigated trust, probate and conservatorship administrations comes with different responsibilities and requires guidance in effectively discharging those duties. Jones, Lester, Schuck, Becker & Dehesa attorneys prevailed at the trial, appellate and California Supreme Court levels in Breslin v. Breslin by protecting the neutral trustee. The third (and generally overlooked) prong of the courts decision in Breslin is that the fiduciary does not breach his or her duties of impartiality and loyalty by bringing a petition for instructions/construction rather than advocating on behalf any particular side in that dispute. This presentation will examine how the fiduciary can successfully, neutrally navigate among litigious factions in trust, probate and conservatorship administrations and include a discussion of real-world examples of successful and unsuccessful applications of these principles.
Breslin v. Breslin (2021) 62 Cal.App.5th 801 New Guidance for Serving as the Neutral Fiduciary in Litigious Conservatorship, Trust and Probate Administrations
Eric A. Hirschberg, Esq.
Eric A. Hirschberg is a partner at the law firm of Lester, Schuck, Becker, Dehesa, & Hirschberg, L.L.P. and focuses his practice in the areas of trust and estate litigation, estate planning, probate, trust administration, business and corporate transactions, and entity formation.
Much of Eric’s practice focuses on litigation involving trust and estate disputes. Eric has earned a reputation in the legal community and with his clients for his ability to resolve difficult matters, participating in numerous successful mediations per year.
Eric collaborates with his estate planning clients to craft estate plans ensuring that his clients are prepared for their futures and their wishes are honored, while avoiding unnecessary taxes and administrative costs. In emotionally trying times after losing a loved one, Eric assists his clients by guiding them through the trust administration, probate process, or estate litigation.
Rennee R. Dehesa, Esq.
Rennee Dehesa is focused on providing quality legal services to her clients who want to plan for their incapacity and death by creating an estate plan that meets their needs. Rennee’s primary focus is to help individuals and couples plan for the transfer of their legacy while still retaining the autonomy and benefits of their own estate. Assisting families and loved ones of those who have passed away with or without an estate plan navigate the process of a trust administration or a probate. Dehesa helps ensure that a minor child or incapacitated adult receives the appropriate care of their person and their finances through conservatorship and guardianship proceedings.
Katherine H. Becker, Esq.
Katherine Becker is a managing partner of Jones, Lester, Schuck, Becker & Dehesa, LLP, in Santa Paula, California, where her practice focuses on estate planning, trust and estate administration, conservatorships, guardianships, and special needs trusts. She is recognized by the State of California Board of Legal Specialization as a certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law. She is a member of the panel for court appointed counsel for conservatees in the Ventura County Superior Court.
Mark A. Lester, Esq.
Attorney Mark A. Lester is an estate planning attorney with extensive experience in a succession planning, probate, trust administration, and trust and estate litigation.
In a career spanning over 35 years, Mr. Lester is widely recognized for his legal achievements. He has been certified as an estate planning, trust, and probate law specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He is currently serving as one of 7 members of the Board of Trustees of the California Board of Legal Specialization after 5 years of service as one of the nine (9) appointed commissioners on the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, Estate Planning Law Advisory Commission, which is responsible for writing, administering and grading the certification examination and approving the application for California attorneys seeking to become California Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. In 2015 through 2019, Mr. Lester has been recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer™ in Estate & Trust Litigation, in 2015 and 2018 in Estate Planning & Probate, and in 2018 in Corporate and Business areas of the law.