Comprehensive Estate Planning Program: The Top 10 Things You Need to Know (CA)

Audio program! (check our CLE Programs page for live versions)

Top Ten lists aren’t just for late-night television. The complex practice of Estate Planning can benefit from them as well.

This comprehensive seminar offers attorneys the opportunity to delve into several “top tens” of estate planning, including the top ten:

  • Things that happen in the absence of an (appropriate) estate plan
  • Things to know about ancillary documents

  • Things to know about trusts

  • Things to know about advanced estate planning

  • Things planners need to know about litigation

Seasoned estate planning veterans – as well as attorneys new to the area – will benefit from the scope and depth of the information presented by our distinguished experts. And you’ll be able to interact with all our speakers, allowing you the unique opportunity to dig more deeply into areas of specific interest to you – and your clients.

This program was recorded in 2013.

What You Will Learn

Top 10 Things that Happen In Absence of an (Appropriate) Estate Plan (1 hour)

  1. Conservatorship
  2. Fiduciaries
  3. Beneficiary designations
  4. Transfers by operation of law
  5. Probate
  6. Small probate
  7. Spousal property petition
  8. Intestacy
  9. Portability
  10. Disclaimer

Top 10 Things to Know About Ancillary Documents (1 hour)

  1. POA – Statutory versus custom
  2. POA – Powers to amend and gift
  3. POA – immediately effective versus springing
  4. AHCD – Witness requirement
  5. AHCD – Multiple agents
  6. General Assignment versus “Schedule A”
  7. HIPAA – Compliance with statutory requirements
  8. Will – Guardianship nominations
  9. Will – non-provisions
  10. POA, Will and Trust – consistency of fiduciaries (limitation of corporate fiduciaries)

Top 10 Things to Know About Trusts (1 hour)

  1. Provisions concerning community property and separate property
  2. Common trust structures
  3. Formula clauses
  4. Personal effects
  5. Common distribution provisions
  6. Powers of appointment
  7. Fiduciary duties
  8. Incentive provisions
  9. No contest clauses
  10. Funding trusts (Steps to take)

Top 10 Things to Know About Advanced Estate Planning (2 hours)

  1. Planning primarily for asset protection
  2. Selecting assets to gift
  3. Concerns about gifting
  4. Basic gifting
  5. Non-trust gifting to minors
  6. Sales and promissory notes
  7. Common strategies involving trusts
  8. Dynasty trusts
  9. Trust protectors
  10. Charitable giving

Top 10 Things Planners Need to Know About Litigation (1 hour)

  1. Be aware of the context in which probate litigation will likely arise
  2. Avoid conflicts of interest
  3. Capacity concerns
  4. Administrative cost/complexity
  5. Failure to communicate/miscommunication during administration process
  6. Failure to com ply with instrument or code
    • Notice requirements
    • Fiduciary dutie s
  7. Estate Plan Changes – Amendments versus Amending and Restating
  8. Spendthrift clauses
  9. Waivers and exoneration
  10. Stale trusts (when subtrusts do not get funded)


“More than satisfied – I feel I learned more than expected.” Kelly McGrane-Irwin, Esq.

“Very qualified and knowledgeable presenters!” Stanley Southwick, Esq.

“Great speakers!”

“I always like hearing examples from their practices.”


Joelle M. Drucker, Esq.
Principal Shareholder
Drucker Law Offices, APC

Joelle M. Drucker is the principal shareholder of Drucker Law Offices where she advises individuals, companies and charitable organizations about all aspects of tax and estate planning, the administration of trusts and estates, and controversies concerning trusts and estates.

Prior to opening Drucker Law Offices, Joelle practiced exclusively in the trusts and estates area for nearly two decades at the national and international firms Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton, LLP. She was also an integral member of the prominent trusts and estates practices at Hoffman, Sabban & Watenmaker, APC, and Ervin, Cohen & Jessup, LLP.

Joelle is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law, Juris Doctor (J.D.), cum laude, and New York University School of Law, Masters of Law (LL.M.) in Taxation.

Abby L.T. Feinman, Esq.
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Abby L.T. Feinman is head of the Los Angeles Trusts and Estates Practice. Ms. Feinman’s broad and dynamic national practice centers around private client matters focusing on sophisticated tax planning for individuals, charitable planning, post-death administration and controversies concerning trusts and estates. Her clients include wealthy individuals, families with bicoastal and global connections, real estate entrepreneurs, business owners, art collectors, corporate fiduciaries, individual fiduciaries, individuals with family members having special needs and private foundations.

Ms. Feinman is active in the community and devotes significant time to Cedars Sinai Medical Center, where she serves as a member of the Executive Cabinet to the Board of Governors and chairs the Young Governors section of the Board. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Jewish Community Foundation in Los Angeles.

Ms. Feinman has been selected for inclusion in Southern California Super Lawyers for Estate Planning and Trusts (2006–2013), and named to The Best Lawyers in America (2010–2013).

Ms. Feinman is a frequent lecturer on various topics, including tax planning opportunities using private annuity sales, supercharging QPRTs, and tax and transfer planning for art collectors. She has given speeches and educational seminars at and for international conferences, family office events, estate planning councils, banking institutions, trust offices, the California State Bar Association, museums and the LA Art Show.

Ms. Feinman earned her undergraduate degree (BS) from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and her law degree (JD) from Northwestern University School of Law. She is licensed to practice in California, New York, Connecticut and Florida.

Christopher B. Johnson, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Law Offices of Christopher B. Johnson

Christopher B. Johnson focuses his practice on the areas of trusts, wills, estate planning, probate and trust litigation and elder law.  He is based in Pasadena and is of counsel to the Skapik Law Group in Chino Hills. 

He is a 1994 graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California. He was a Dean’s Scholar, and an extern at the legal department of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., and for the Honorable Barry Russell, Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Wheaton College in 1991. He is admitted to practice in all California state courts and the United States District Court, Central District.

Prior to establishing his own practice, he was a Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer with U.S. Trust, serving Southern California high net worth and ultra high net worth families in their wealth transfer planning and with trust services. Before U.S. Trust, he was a founding member of the Arroyo Law Group, Russakow | Ryan | Johnson, and his own estate planning and probate practice in Pasadena, as well as a civil litigation lawyer for the Law Office of Errol Berk in Ventura. He has appeared on NBC-TV news and radio programs to discuss estate planning and probate issues and is a frequent speaker to attorneys and community groups, and has just been named to MyLawCLE’s advisory board. He is a member of the Trusts & Estates sections of the Los Angeles County and Pasadena Bar Associations, the City of Hope Music and Entertainment Industry Committee and the board of the Cancer Support Community – Pasadena.

He is also the proud father of two sons and enjoys biking, tennis, traveling and architecture appreciation in his spare time.  He is a Southern California native, having grown up in Arcadia and Palm Springs, and is the third generation of his family to work in estate planning.

Willow A. McJilton, Esq.
Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, State Bar of CA Board of Legal Specialization
Willow A. Mc Jilton, APC

Willow is a Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization, California State Bar.

Willow was born and raised in southern California. She graduated from UC Irvine in 1998 with a B.A. in Criminology, Law & Society, and a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior. After working in the non-profit sector for two years, Willow moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA School of Law.

Since graduating from UCLA in 2003, Willow has worked exclusively in the fields of estate planning and trust administration with two prestigious estate planning firms in Century City. Willow began her own estate planning firm in 2010.

Willow has been an instructor with UCLA Extension since 2007, teaching courses in estate planning. Willow served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Trusts & Estates Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association (2004 – 2010) and Chair of such section (2009 – 2010).

Willow was featured as a "Rising Star" in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 by Southern California’s Super Lawyers magazine.

Kyle Neal, Esq.

Schwartz & Shapiro LLP

Kyle R. Neal has been practicing in the estate planning area for almost two decades.  A 1988 graduate of Boston College Law School and a graduate of Wellesley College, she made the choice to change from corporate law to estate planning law after several years, because people are far more interesting than corporations.

She is of counsel at Schwartz and Shapiro. 

Although Kyle has lived on the West Coast since 1988, she still considers Boston home and she is raising her children Red Sox.

Adam L. Streltzer, Esq.
Lead Litigation Counsel
Adam L. Streltzer, Attorney at Law

Adam L. Streltzer is the firm’s lead litigation counsel. Adam formerly practiced with the law firm of Weinstock, Manion, Reisman, Shore & Neumann, in Century City, where he was engaged in probate, trust, estate, and fiduciary litigation. He litigates issues concerning the rights, duties, responsibilities, money, and property of the deceased, incompetent, spendthrift, and bankrupt.

Adam is a member of the State Bar of California, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Beverly Hills Bar Association, and Commercial Law League of America. He is admitted to practice before all of the courts of the State of California, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, U.S. District Court for all federal court districts in California (Central, Northern, Southern, and Eastern), and the U.S. Tax Court. He is also a member of the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Probate Volunteer Panel (PVP) program.

Adam was recognized as one of the top Southern California Super Lawyers 2013 repeating the accolade from 2012, 2011 and 2007. His professional services have been recognized in major news outlets, including the Orange County Register, Associated Press, and Los Angeles Daily Journal, as part of the litigation over the estate of one of the founders of the TapouT business empire.

Prior to joining the Weinstock firm, Adam was a partner with the law firm of Kamanski Streltzer, LLP, where he developed substantial experience in the fields of business litigation, creditor’s rights, and commercial collections, with a primary emphasis in judgment enforcement. Adam transitioned to the Weinstock firm after collaborating with the firm’s attorneys on several trust, estate and fiduciary matters falling outside of probate court jurisdiction.

Adam was also formerly an associate with the law firm Cantor & Weinshenk, where he represented banks, lenders and trade creditors in the state and federal court systems in business disputes, collections cases, and for the enforcement of creditors’ rights, and also provided general business advice to small to medium sized businesses.

Adam Streltzer obtained his J.D. in 1994 from the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific with Honors at Entrance Award. Prior to law school, he obtained his B.A. in Applied Geography in 1991 from San Diego State University, along with a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and graduated ‘With Distinction’ and Dean’s List honors.


Audio Course and Materials Package – Download: $425

Audio Course and Materials Package – CD: $425

CDs: plus $8.50 shipping and, in CA, sales tax.

CLE Credit

CA General:  This program is approved for 6.0 units of general CLE in California.

CA CPE: 7.2 units
CA Certified Legal Specialist:  This program is approved for 6.0 units of Certified Legal Specialist CLE in California in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law as follows:

  • 5.0 hrs Subfield B (Estate Planning), and 1.0 hrs Subfield E (Litigation Related to Other Categories).

This program is approved for CLE in the states listed above.  Upon request, Pincus Pro Ed will provide any information an attorney needs to support their application for CLE approval in other states other than what is listed above.


Terms and Policies

Recording policy: No audio or video recording of any program is permitted.

Seminar Cancellations: Should you be unable to attend for any reason, please inform us in writing no later than 14 days prior to the event and a credit voucher will be issued. If you prefer, a refund, less a $50 non-refundable deposit, will be issued. No refunds or credits will be given for cancellations received within 14 days of an event. However, if you notify us within 14 days of an event, and wish to convert your in-person attendance registration to an Audio CD package (with handout), we can do so. A small additional shipping charge, and sales tax in CA, will be incurred. No shipping charge is incurred for downloads. We will also issue a voucher for the amount paid if you notify us within 14 days and prefer not to have the audio recording.

Substitutions may be made at any time.

Webinars, Tele-seminars and Webcast Cancellations: Once log-in codes and passwords are issued for a webinar, tele-seminars or webcasts, a refund is not possible. If for any reason you cannot attend the event after you have received the codes, we will automatically convert your registration to an instant streaming/instant download or CD format and provide you with the information you need to access the recording after the program concludes and the recording is available.  Conversions to CD require a $8.50 shipping fee, and in CA, 9% sales tax.

Downloads/CDs/DVDs – Refund policy:

Downloads are non-returnable/non-refundable once purchased and received. Tapes, CDs and DVDs are returnable for a full refund or replacement if defective, within 90 days of purchase.

Reminder: The room temperature at hotels and other seminar locations are notoriously hard to control. Please bring a sweater or jacket in case it gets cold and/or layer as if you are going to the movies so you are comfortable.

$425.00 each

Recorded in 2013.