Section Estate Planning, Trust and Probate

The Estate Planning and Probate Section covers substantive and procedural law governing trustees, probate estates, guardianships, conservatorship and other matters affecting trusts and estates and administration. The section offers Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and works closely with the bench to improve the administration of justice in the Probate Court.

Section Chairs

Julia C. Butler
628 253 0770

Paul B. Gruwell
415 453 9433

Wed | Jun 21


Estate Planning, Trust and Probate
1.0 CLE | General
Jun 01, 2023
By Nancy Hoffman PsyD.

Americans are living and working longer than they ever have. According to the California Bar Association in 2020 there were 253,968 attorneys in the state. Of those attorneys, 189,971 are active with an average age of 50. They also note that 16% are over the age of 65. The likelihood of developing dementia doubles every five years after age 65. By 85, the risk is nearly 50%. These statistics suggest that it is more likely than not that you or one of your colleagues will develop cognitive impairment that will adversely affect the ability to function in multiple areas of life, including work.

Jun 01, 2023
By Carolyn Rosenblatt, R.N., Attorney

In this case study, excellent work by an estate planner and others stopped an elder abuser. The names below are changed.

Jun 01, 2023
By Bonnie Ross, Attorney, Legal Aid of Marin

You might think estate planning is only for the most-wealthy of the top 1%. Maybe, you’ve heard there is an exemption currently allowing each of us to shelter almost $13 million from combined federal estate and gift taxes. So, it’s understandable why someone would be a bit surprised (maybe even confused or shocked) to hear that Legal Aid of Marin (yes, Legal Aid!) is partnering with Vivalon and The Spahr Center to create a series of free estate planning clinics for older adults.

Recap March General Membership Meeting
Jun 01, 2023
By Leila K. Mongan, Esq.

Upon visiting Justice Carin T. Fujisaki’s chambers in the California Court of Appeal, you will encounter three items on the wall. They are framed documents from the Justice’s parents’ time as children in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, including a crayon drawing of the camp made by her mother, a war identification card, and a document showing the education her mother received at the camp. Justice Fujisaki displays these items prominently on her wall because she does not want to forget her parents’ experience of being sent to the camps, and the hardships they endured there.

Jun 01, 2023
By Marin Health and Human Services and Marin County Counsel’s Office

Elder abuse is a growing problem in the United States and is projected to swell with the rapidly growing aging population. In Marin County, 29% percent - or nearly one out of every three people - is an “Older Adult” defined as aged 60 years and over, and by 2030, 38% of Marin residents will be considered an older adult. The biggest increase will be among those over 85. According to the National Council on Aging, one in ten Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some form of elder abuse. This can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and financial exploitation.

MCBA Member Profile
Jun 01, 2023
By Morgan Daly, MCBA Board Director

Valerie Kushel runs a successful estate planning, trust administration and probate practice based in San Rafael. She has been a member of MCBA since 2018, and Director since 2021. She lives in Marin with her husband and two young children. Morgan Daly, fellow board member, interviewed her.