Trusts and Estates 101: Estate Planning from Start to Finish (CA)

If you are just getting going with your estate planning practice, or need a strong refresher on various aspects of estate planing, this comprehensive estate planning program is for you.

This is a full day seminar focused on giving you a thorough overview of the critical areas of estate planning and the tasks and law you need to know to be a successful estate planning attorney.

Your faculty includes recently retired Probate Judge Mary Ann Thornton House and long time estate planning attorneys, including several Certified Legal Specialists in Estate, Trusts and Probate Law.

This beginner level seminar will walk you through the steps you need to know to successfully meet your client’s needs in your estate planning practice. The program will start with how you should handle the initial interview and what ethical considerations may arise.

Next, your instructors will walk you through the different types of wills you want to consider for your clients. After that your faculty will spend a great deal of time on the most important estate planning documents will create for your clients. This includes things like Revocable and irrevocable trusts, the common revocable trust structures and formula clauses. They’ll also speak about common distribution professions, Powers of Appointment, incentive provisions and strong no contest clauses.

After that, you’ll hear about fiduciaries as well as the different types of Power of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directives you must discuss with and help your clients choose. We’ll also cover your funding documents, such as deeds, funding letters, assignments, LLCs and Partnerships.

Lastly the faculty will cover the typical controversies that come up in estate planning related litigation and how to avoid them.

This in-depth program is designed to thoroughly immerse you in the critical areas of estate planning. You will learn the law and the practical skills you need to create these type of trusts for your clients.

Your faculty will provide lots of strategies and advice along the way. You’ll even hear from Judge Thornton House about her recommendations for successfully helping your clients and avoiding ending up in court. And advice about what to do if you do end up in court.

Can’t attend? This program will be recorded live on March 14, 2019 in Los Angeles. The audio package, including seminar materials, will be available within two-three weeks after the live program date. Please click on the button to the right to order the audio package.




Morning Session: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Break at approximately 10:15 a.m.)

The Initial Interview and Ethical Considerations

  • Identify clients
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Capacity concerns
  • Expectations


  • Independent vs. pour over
  • Guardianship provisions
  • Miscellaneous provisions
  • Execution requirements


  • Community property vs. separate property
  • Personal Effects
  • Revocable vs. irrevocable
    • ILITs
    • Dynasty trusts
  • Common revocable trust structures
    • “A” Trust Plan (Survivor’s Trust)
    • “A” Trust Plan with Disclaimer (Survivor’s Trust with Disclaimer Trust)
    • “AB” Trust Plan (Bypass Trust; Survivor’s Trust)
    • “ABC” Trust Plan (Bypass Trust; Marital Trust; Survivor’s Trust)
    • Clayton QTIPS
  • Formula Clauses
    • Pecuniary formula
    • Fractional interest
    • Post-mortem appreciation/depreciation
    • Income tax issues
    • Marital

Lunch 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. (on your own)

Afternoon Session: 1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (Break at approximately 3:00 p.m.)

Trusts, cont.

  • Common distribution provisions
  • Powers of appointment
  • Incentive provisions
  • No contest clauses


  • Types
  • Duties
  • Consistency of fiduciaries
  • Other considerations
  • Fiduciary duties of trustees
    • Reporting requirements
    • Waivers and exoneration

Powers of Attorney

  • Immediate vs. springing
  • Statutory vs. custom
  • Powers to amend, revoke and gift

Advance Health Care Directives

  • Statutory vs. custom
  • Signature requirements
  • Multiple agents
  • HIPAA/CMIA – compliance with statutory requirements

Funding Documents

  • Assignments
  • Certifications
  • Deeds
  • Funding letters
  • LLCs, partnerships
  • Stale trusts

Common Controversies and Litigation

  • Fiduciary liability
  • Accountings
  • Contests
  • Attorney liability

End at 5:00 p.m.




March 14, 2019

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (lunch on your own)
Check in between 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

The DoubleTree Downtown Los Angeles
120 South Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Parking:  Discounted $17 valet and $13 self park at hotel. Enter through valet/main entrance on Los Angeles Street.


The following testimonials are from our previous Estate Planning programs.

Probate Litigation 101 held in Los Angeles in 2017 (our March 14th 2019 program includes all of the same faculty as this Probate Litigation program):

“The book really was like a goldmine of information…This was a fantastic program, very complete and very substantive. Great panel with great information. I learned a lot which I know will help my practice.” – Steven A. Friedman, Esq.

“Enjoyed the program. Learned a great deal of material…comments from the bench are always helpful.” – Tom Borchard, Esq.

“My goal was a brief overview of Probate Litigation, with some helpful practice takeaways – both were accomplished!” – Abigail McLaughlin, Esq.

“There were certain areas I had not considered before, but which will be helpful for [practicing in] both L.A. County and Orange County.” – Austin Borchard, Esq.

“Speakers were super knowledgeable and practical…Learned a few very important nuggets to keep me malpractice free.” – Elizabeth Vozzella, Esq.

“Well-organized…very informative. Good Q&A.” – David Kim, Esq.

“I really enjoyed the content. It appeals to new probate attorneys, attorneys new to litigation, and is a refresher for those who are more experienced.” – Savannah Estenson, Esq.

“Great presentation! Very relevant…great panel. Thank you!” – Marta N. Jonsson, Esq.

“Loved Lauriann Wright’s real-life case experience and practice tips. She was so helpful.” – Jill Piano, Esq.

“All speakers were clear, informative, organized, and engaging. Fantastic panel. Thank you! Content was…incredibly relevant and informative. The speakers paced through the amount of information well without sacrificing quality. I am a new practitioner and I appreciate the overview of each topic. Each speaker clarified many practical issues (not just probate concepts): e.g., filing petitions, considering how to handle difficult clients and/or court appearances. Well-organized event. Thank you! I look forward to taking part in more CLE events with Pincus.”

“I just started in probate law and this was a wonderfully informative program, and provides a great overview.”

“The program overall was exceptional. The thoroughness of what was covered in the time constraint of one day was well done.”

“Excellent presentations. The speakers were great…Judge Thornton was an excellent, engaging speaker and I felt lucky to have such an experienced judge teaching us…Excellent materials.”

“Great program. Appreciated the focus on practical ‘how-to’.”

“Great opportunity for insight from a sitting judge. Thanks for the tips! …Very intensive course with great depth. Covered a lot of smaller issues, and the insight into these, and lesser-known tricks and tips, was great.”

“Really appreciated the judge’s intro and big picture overview at the beginning. Appreciated Edgar Saenz’s cheat sheets.”

“Having Judge House was great!”

“Lauriann Wright was very knowledgeable as to litigation and providing case examples to cover points!”

“The handout materials are great.”

“Really good handouts.”

“I found it very helpful to have the judge’s perspective… The materials are very useful.”

“Excellent overview.”

Trusts and Estates 101 held in Los Angeles in 2014:

“Excellent!” – Mark Allen Wilson, Esq.

“Good overview of estate planning nuts and bolts.”


“Excellent seminar for attorneys branching out into this area of estate planning.”

“Excellent presentation.”


Judge Mary Thornton House
Los Angeles Superior Court, Probate, Department 29

Judge Mary Thornton House is one of 9 judges in Los Angeles County that preside over trusts, wills, estates, guardianships and conservatorship matters.  Appointed in January, 1996, by then Governor Pete Wilson, she has been a judge for 21 years.  Prior to her appointment to the bench, she was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles for 17 years and started out as a prosecutor in the criminal division.  During her last decade with that office, she defended the City and its police and fire departments in civil law suits in both State and Federal courts.   

In March 2004, Los Angeles County honored her as one of its ‘Women of the Year’ for her efforts on behalf of women’s issues.  In October 2004, she was recognized by the Pasadena Bar Association as their ‘Judge of the Year.’  In 2008, the California Judges Association awarded her the Bernard F. Jefferson’s Award for Excellence in Judicial Education.  In February 2011, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association awarded her the “Excellence in Judicial Administration” award.  In March 2013, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association named her their “2013 Judge of the Year.” Judge House was the 2011 and 2012 Dean of California B.E. Witkin Judicial College which provides for education of all judicial officers in California.  She has taught judges and attorneys throughout the state and is currently an adjunct professor at USC’s Gould Law Center.

Judge House is a past and present member of many California statewide committees.  She has presided over criminal felony trials, general jurisdiction civil cases, and probate during her career.  She has been a supervising judge for the Northeast and North Central Districts and was supervising judge of Hub Operations for unlawful detainer, small claims, and collection court hubs that she designed following severe court budget cuts in 2013. She chaired the workgroup that was instrumental in passing the new Expedited Jury Trials legislation in 2011 and coordinated the recent efforts that successfully resulted in this new Legislation supported by both defense and plaintiff bar groups.

Beti Tsai Bergman, Esq.

Peninsula Law

Beti Tsai Bergman is an attorney and counselor at law dedicated to serving her clients with judgment, courtesy, and diligence. She is an attorney, in good standing, licensed to practice law in the State of California. She was admitted to the CA State Bar in 1997.

Ms. Bergman is the principal shareholder of the law firm, Peninsula Law, A Professional Law Corporation, which specializes in probate, trusts, estates, conservatorships, and elder abuse. Ms.Bergman has extensive experience in representing conservators, trustees, and executors, as well as, heirs and beneficiaries in uncontested and contested trust and estate matters. Before specializing in probate, Ms. Bergman was a city attorney for Los Angeles and was a business litigator in private practice.

Ms. Bergman is certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization in estate planning, trust and probate law and has earned an Advocate Designation from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

Her speaking engagements include CEB live webcast on estate planning, panels discussing women in the law, mothers balancing career and family, starting your law practice, and preparing for advanced age healthcare and financial care.

Samuel Ingham III, Esq.

Law Offices of Samuel D. Ingham III

Check back soon for full bio!

David Certified Specialist in Taxation Law, State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization Rice, Esq.
Managing Partner & Founder, Certified Specialist in Taxation
The Law Office of David Lee Rice

Mr. Rice has been in private practice since November 1979 as a tax professional. Prior to law school, Mr. Rice worked for the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand. Mr. Rice is the sole proprietor of the law firm of David Lee Rice, APLC, rated AV by Martindale & Hubbell, and is one of Los Angeles Magazine’s Super Lawyers for 2006-2015. Currently, Mr. Rice is in charge of the Tax Program at Cal Poly Pomona. Mr. Rice has taught on the Masters of Taxation Program at California State University at Northridge and Golden Gate University, as well as many courses at the University of West Los Angeles School of Law.

Mr. Rice is a Certified Specialist in Taxation with the State Bar of California and is also a Certified Elder Law Specialist in Elder Law.

Mr. Rice has published numerous articles, which have been published in the Tax Developments Journal, Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, Journal of Taxation, the Estate Planning Journal, Practicing Law Institute, University of Southern California Tax Institute, UCLA Tax Institute, California Tax Lawyer, Los Angeles Lawyer, Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, the Daily Journal and Tax Notes.

He has drafted numerous papers for presentations to the IRS and Treasury concerning substantive changes to the Tax Code and the Treasury Regulations thereunder and has testified before the IRS, Department of Treasury, House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee.

Mr. Rice has also lectured before the Internal Revenue Service, USC Tax Institute, Annual UCLA Tax Institute, American Bar Association, Annual Meeting of the California Tax Bar and California Tax Policy Conference, HELP, South Bay Bar Association, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Loyola Law School, California Society of CPAs, Orange County Society of CPAs, Estate Planning Counsels of Los Angeles, South Bay and San Fernando, Dean Whittier, Jewish Federation Council, Anti-Defamation League, Kaiser Permanente, Miller & Company, California State Bar Educational Institute, Annual California State Bar Meetings, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, COSMA, and before various Elder Care Groups sponsored with the Los Angeles County Bar Association in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Rice is the former Chair to the Individual and Family Income Tax Section of the American Bar Association, the State Bar Income Tax Committee, the Los Angeles County Bar Association Committee on Procedure and Litigation, and the State Bar Committee on Procedure and Litigation.

He is also the former Commissioner and Chair of the Board of Legal Specialization Committee of the State Bar on Taxation. He is the former Chair of the Tax Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, and the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Tax Section. He is a member of the following additional associations: The Planning Committee for the UCLA Tax Institute, the Planning Committee for California State University Polytechnic Pomona Tax Institute, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, South Bay Bar Association and the South Bay Estate Planning Council. He is the former Director on the Board of Directors of the Fibromyalgia Treatment Center, the Wellness Center in Redondo Beach, CA, and Former Trustee of the Board of Trustees of the University of West Los Angeles Law School.

Edgar Saenz, Esq.

Law Office of Edgar Saenz

Edgar Saenz is a Los Angeles estate planning attorney and graduate of Stanford Law School.   He is a member of several bar trust and estate sections.  He serves on numerous community and professional boards, including past president of the Westchester Rotary Club (2013-2014) board member of the LAX Area Chamber of Commerce.  Edgar is rated AV by Martindale Hubbell.

Edgar has performed pro bono legal services for the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice and other nonprofits. 

He has been a judge pro tem with the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Lauriann Wright, Esq.
Wright Kim Douglas ALC

Lauriann Wright is an experienced probate litigator and estate planner located in Glendale California. For over 20 years, she has been practicing all phases of probate law and litigation, including conservatorships, guardianships, trusts, and probate estates, throughout Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties. She has been named as a Southern California Super Lawyer in Trust and Estate Litigation for five consecutive years, from 2012 through 2016. For 2016, she will also be listed as one of "The Best Lawyers in America" in Litigation by Best Lawyers. She was recently named as a member of the National Advocates: Top 100 of Wills, Trust, and Estates Lawyers. 

Ms. Wright has conducted numerous contested probate bench trials, dozens of depositions, and written and argued several probate appeals. She has successfully represented professional fiduciaries in contested and protracted probate litigation proceedings in numerous multi-million dollar trusts and estates. She has also served as a fiduciary herself through court appointments as a receiver for real property, guardian ad litem, and trustee. Ms. Wright has worked with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office on numerous financial elder abuse cases and has been able to successfully recover substantial assets for the elderly victims. She is also a member of the Los Angeles County Probate Volunteer Panel as well as the Trusts and Estates Sections of the State Bar and the Los Angeles County Bar. Ms. Wright has completed and continues to participate in substantial continuing legal education course work in specialized probate law topics.

Four key qualities make Ms. Wright an effective advocate for her clients: (1) a keen understanding of probate law and procedure, garnering the respect of her fellow attorneys and bench officers; (2) thoroughness and attention to detail; (3) expansive litigation experience from a concurrent business litigation practice; and (4) social intelligence and understanding of the emotionally charged nature of probate disputes.

In addition to her probate experience, Ms. Wright is also an experienced business litigator, knowledgeable in all phases of civil litigation, including jury and bench trials in both state and federal courts. Her practice focuses on business and probate litigation. She has briefed and argued cases in appellate matters, including the successful, published opinion in Soderberg v. McKinney, 44 Cal. App. 4th 1760, 52 Cal. Rptr. 2d 635 (1996) which reversed the law on real estate appraiser liability in California. Ms. Wright also consults and advises corporate clients on litigation, real estate, and business matters and drafts agreements. Through her business litigation experience, she has substantial knowledge in the areas of commercial finance, factoring, real estate, construction defect, intellectual property, and complex litigation.

Ms. Wright graduated from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1994 with her Juris Doctorate, including a semester of specialized coursework in international law completed at University of Leiden Law School, Leiden, the Netherlands. Ms. Wright was admitted to the California Bar in December 1994 and is admitted to practice in all the California state and federal trial and appellate courts.



Register by January 21st and save on each registration with the Early Bird rate!

Registration fees are per person.

Individual: $425
Early Bird registration $399

Group: $399 per person for 2 or more from the same company pre-registering at the same time
Early Bird registration $380

Government employee/Legal Aid* Rate: $375
Early Bird registration $350

Law Students/paralegals*: $235 (current JD students only)
Early Bird registration $210


Program materials:

We’ve gone green.  Registration fees include an electronic copy of your handbook emailed one week in advance of the program.  Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see it by then.

If you prefer, you may order a hard copy of the handout to be provided the day of the program for $25. To do so, please be sure to check the box when you register. If you want a hard copy, you must order it when you register; there will not be any available for purchase the day of the program.

* Law Student Rate is for current law students only.

** Legal Aid attorneys are those attorneys employed by Legal Aid/non-profit firms. It does not include attorneys who have their own practice, or are employed by law firms, that volunteer their time for non-profit causes or take on pro-bono cases. Full and partial scholarships may be available to a limited number of Legal Aid attorneys, based upon registration. Please call (877) 858-3848 to discuss or email your request to


CLE Credits

CA General:  This program is approved for 6.5 units of general CLE in California.
CA Certified Legal Specialist:  This program is approved for 6.5 units of Certified Legal Specialization Credit in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law.

NJ General: The LIVE session of this course is approved, under New Jersey’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 6.5 CLE units. Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NJ approved jurisdiction. See the New Jersey State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

NY General: The LIVE session of this course is approved, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 6.5 CLE units. Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NY approved jurisdiction. See Section 6 of the New York State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

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 & Refund 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.

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.

For policies related to audio products, please select “I want a download or CD” on the right.

$210.00$399.00 each

March 14, 2019 | Los Angeles


Printed Materials

[ All attendees receive a pdf of the materials one week prior to the program. To purchase a printed hard copy, please select this option to order it now. ]

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