This session will draw on the vast experience of the Co-Presenters to broaden Professional Fiduciaries’ awareness of typical litigation issues for Trusts, Conservatorships and Guardianships. Specific case examples will be employed to highlight best practices to avoid litigation, as well as coping strategies for achieving the best outcomes in various complex and difficult situations. James J. Finsten, ESQ. is a Trust and Estates Litigator and Shareholder of the premier firm of Lurie, Zepeda in Los Angeles. Jim brings a wealth of knowledge regarding litigation matters and will discuss some very interesting recent case matters. Scott MacDonald is a long time contributor to the PFAC Education Conference and has lectured extensively on protecting Professional Fiduciary practices via comprehensive financial planning and prudent investment methods.
Protecting Fiduciaries from Litigation
Aaron Gigliotti is an experienced Probate litigator who successfully resolves disputes in all areas of probate practice. Mr. Gigliotti represents individual and institutional trustees, beneficiaries of trusts and estates, conservators and conservatees in contested and uncontested conservatorship proceedings, personal representatives and beneficiaries in contested estate matters, and third party litigants in all aspects of probate litigation.
Mr. Gigliotti graduated from Northwestern University School of Law has spent his career as both a litigator and an advisor in a multi-family office managing the assets of high-net-worth families.
As a litigator, he successfully defended the Trustee and personal representative of a multi-million dollar estate spanning several California counties who was wrongfully accused of breaching his fiduciary duties to beneficiaries.
Gigliotti successfully obtained a Conservatorship on an extremely short time-frame for an elder who was the target of a financial elder abuse criminal-conspiracy that involved probate, criminal, and family law cases.
Gigliotti successfully assisted the beneficiaries of a nine-figure trust to obtain regular Trust distributions from a recalcitrant successor trustee after the incapacity of the settlor.
James J. Finsten, Esq.
James J. Finsten is an experienced and creative litigator, unwavering in his commitment to achieve the best possible outcomes. He seeks to understand clients’ businesses and objectively assess how evidence will be perceived by judges and factfinders in establishing case strategies; drafting and arguing motions; taking and defending depositions; hiring and supervising expert witnesses; and conducting factual investigations. Clients appreciate Mr. Finsten’s candid and useful advice, and that he respects the value of their time and the cost of litigation.
Mr. Finsten is particularly experienced advising clients on environmental and water resource matters. He has represented clients before federal state and local regulators, and has litigated claims under most federal and state environmental statutes, including CERCLA, RCRA, Clean Water Act, Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act. He also has represented clients in common law public and private nuisance claims.
Scott MacDonald is the founder and leader of the Special Needs Team at Merrill Lynch, a group of financial advisors and client associates dedicated to enhancing the long-term well-being of special-needs, disabled and elderly individuals by offering financial advice and guidance. Scott joined Merrill Lynch in 1987 and has spent his entire career addressing the unique needs of society’s most vulnerable members.
Passionate about his work, Scott provides wealth planning and investment management for Special Needs Trusts and other court-supervised trusts, as well as probate investing for Conservatorships and Guardianships. He offers extensive knowledge of various state Probate Code restrictions on investments, as well as the terms of the Uniform Prudent Investor Act. Scott facilitates close collaboration with attorneys, caregivers, trustees, fiduciaries, benefits counselors, and other professionals. A regular lecturer and media contributor, he is the author of numerous articles and publications related to special-needs and elder financial strategy.