Probate Litigation 101: The Nuts and Bolts [Three-Part Webinar] [Recorded Package](CA)

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

Our Probate Litigation 101 program takes an in-depth look at the pre-procedural rules, statutes, and major issues and areas of law that an attorney in the estate planning and estate litigation area needs to handle when dealing with probate litigation.

Since so much of probate litigation is the time leading up to actual trial, a large portion of the program will be focused on all of the actions, procedures, rules and tasks you must know about, and accomplish, long before you get to trial. Then you will get concrete advice regarding trial’s and evidence procedure and what to expect.

You will learn about ethics (and receive .5 ethics credit) and you will also learn about settlement and mediating Litigation options and attorneys’ Fees and Petitions.

Other topics covered related to Probate Litigation include Capacity, Undue Influence, Contests, Removal of Fiduciaries and Accounting Litigation, Conservatorships, 850 Petitions, and Prohibited Donees.

Our speakers will provide plenty of practical advice throughout the entire program, all focused on helping you succeed before and at trial.

Our panel includes retired probate Judge Mary Thornton House (now in ADR) and top-notch practitioners, including CA Bar Certified Legal Specialists in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law.

Just a few past comments include (click on the Testimonials Tab above to see many more):

“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. The seminar handbook really was like a goldmine of information. ” – Steven A. Friedman, Esq.

“Excellent practical content and engaging presenters.” – Jenny Shin, Esq.

“Comprehensive overview of the probate litigation process.” – Jackson Morgus, Esq.

“Lots of great information for a new attorney, thank you. The detailed handout to follow along is a great tool for future use.” – Samuel R. Brown, Esq.

“Topical, practical, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Judge’s point of view on best practices from the bench.” – Jenny Shin, Esq.

The program is geared towards the attorney who already has a basic understanding of estate planning law and terms.  Basic estate planning terms will not be explained.

Litigators with no estate planning experience wanting to know more about this form of litigation will want to order our recent Estate Planning 101 course  to familiarize themselves with the concepts, legal areas, terms and other particularities of estate planning – of which there are a lot – prior to taking this course. Please see our Trusts and Estates 101: The Nuts and Bolts program if you’d like an introduction to estate planning law.


This program was recorded live on April 4, 11, and 18, 2023. The recorded package, is available in audio or video format now and includes seminar materials.

* The Video recording is a video of the webinar (including sound). The Audio recording is audio only, for those who wish to listen to it without visuals (such as in the car). You can also purchase both formats together.  Note: All downloads must be downloaded to a computer first, before transferring them to another device.




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Are you interested in enhancing your public speaking abilities? There’s no better moment than now to take action! Acquire a copy of Faith Pincus’ book, “Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys,” published by the ABA. ABA members can enjoy a special discount of 10%-20%.

Alternatively, you have the option to order a signed paperback directly from us at a discounted price, including free shipping.  Click here to order your signed copy directly from us.

The book is also conveniently available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. Don’t miss this opportunity to improve your presentation skills in and out of court and Be Heard!

What You Will Learn

Part 1: Tuesday, April 4, 2023

 Important Statutory Deadlines in Trust and Probate Matters

  • Claims to be brought during lifetime of elder
  • Deadlines associated with will contests
  • Creditor’s claim deadlines
  • Trust contest deadlines
  • Accounting deadlines
  • Deadlines for claims that survive decedent’s death
  • Breach of trust deadlines
  • Financial elder abuse deadlines

Discovery – Differences between Probate and Civil Litigation

  • Probate specific discovery procedures
    • Probate Code § 8870 – Discovery of decedent’s property
    • Probate Code § 2616 – Similar procedures for a conservatorship
  • Subpoenaing records


  • Presumption of Capacity
  • Probate Code §§ 810-12
  • Estate of Fritschi
  • Capacity to execute trust
    • Anderson v. Hunt
    • Walton v. Bank of CA
    • Lintz v. Lintz
  • Capacity to execute will
    • Probate Code 6100.5
  • Conservatorships (functional capacity)
    • Probate Code 1801

Undue Influence

  • WIC § 15610.70
  • Burden of proof on contestant
  • Estate of Truckenmeiller
  • Elements to establish undue influence
    • Estate of Lingenfelter
    • Estate of Yale
    • Estate of Little
    • Estate of Allen
  • Presumption of Undue Influence – Burden shifting
    • David v. Hermann
    • Estate of Rugani
    • Estate of Llewellyn
  • Rebutting Presumption of Undue Influence


  • Trust Contests
  • Will Contests / Revocation or Probate
  • Contract to Make a Will


Part 2: Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Removal of Fiduciaries and Accounting Litigation

  • Appointment of temporary trustee
  • Probate Code § 17206
  • Probate Code § 15642(e)
  • Strategy re proposing neutral PPF
  • Real property – recording interim order
  • Accounting Litigation
    • From trustee
      • Probate Code §§ 16060-61
      • Probate Code § 17200
      • De facto trustee / Trustee de son tort
      • England v. Winslow


  • Contested Conservatorships
    • Probate Code § 1800.3
    • Conservatorship of Ramirez
    • Fees – Probate Code § 2640.1
  • Substituted judgment petitions – Probate Code 2580
  • Representing clients with limited capacity

850 Petitions

  • Statute of limitations
    • Estate of Yool
    • CCP 366.2
  • Real property – lis pendens
  • 859 Damages

Prohibited Donees – Probate Code § 21380

  • Definitions
  • Drafted / transcribed
  • Care custodian / dependent adult
    • Exclusions
  • Certificate of Independent Review / Independent Attorney

Part 3: Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Pre-litigation mediation and settlement

  • Petitions to Approve Settlement
  • Demand letter
  • Draft of unfiled petition
  • Offer to mediate

Trials and Evidence

  • Final status conference
  • Trial prep
  • Pre-trial deadlines
  • Trial briefs
  • Evidentiary issues
  • Motions in Limine
  • Excluding witnesses
  • Order of trial
    • Opening statements
    • Whose case is presented first
    • Order of witnesses / Direct & Cross Examinations
    • Expert witnesses
    • Introduction of Exhibits
    • Objections
    • Closing arguments
  • Attorney-Client Privilege
  • Fiduciaries and Successor Fiduciaries
    • Moeller v. Superior Court
    • Wells Fargo Bank v. Superior Court
    • Eddy v. Fields
    • Borissoff v. Taylor & Faust
  • Holder of privilege after death
    • Evidence Code §§ 953-54
  • Exceptions
    • Evidence Code § 957
    • Evidence Code § 958
    • Evidence Code § 959
    • Evidence Code § 960
    • Evidence Code § 961

Ethics (includes .5 units of ethics credit)

Getting Paid: Attorneys’ Fees and Petitions



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

I learned a lot todayI have been thrusted into litigation and the speakers took the edge off for me.” – Theresa Geoffroy, Esq.  

“Excellent practical content and engaging presenters.” – Jenny Shin, Esq.

“Comprehensive overview of the probate litigation process.” – Jackson Morgus, Esq.

“Lots of great information for a new attorney, thank you. The detailed handout to follow along is a great tool for future use.” – Samuel R. Brown, Esq.

“Topical, practical, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Judge’s point of view on best practices from the bench.” – Jenny Shin, Esq.

“Very satisfied.” – Jackson Morgus, Esq.

“It was educational, and as a fairly new probate litigator I learned some very valuable information. The handouts have been invaluable, and I am really glad to have that perk of participating in the webinar.” – Page Allinson, Esq.

“Great handouts. I found the program to be very helpful and informative.” – Asha Lopez, Esq.

“Clear and comprehensive, efficiently presented.” – Brian Beckwith, Esq.

“Excellent. Very Satisfied.” – Laura Bartels, Esq.

“Loved the probate note section. Super helpful. I learned so much.” – Laura Bartels, Esq.

“Great.” – Josseph Hudack, Esq.

“Great presentation; great notes. I love that in the handout there were no slides with too much text…right to the good stuff, the notes.” – Edward Batista, Esq.

“The speakers were all great. Learned a lot, filled in a lot of gaps.” – Monica A. Mihell, Esq.

“Excellent! The pace was good-slow enough to take notes and fast enough to keep me engaged.” – Hillary Grosberg, Esq.

“All presenters clearly had the appropriate experience and clarified presentation by including specific examples from their practices. All presenters welcomed questions and fielded them appropriately and fully.” – Brian Beckwith, Esq.

“Practical information I can implement today – that’s what I was looking for.” – Jenny Shin, Esq.

“I thought the content was informative and will help in my practice.” – Jeffrey Slack, Esq.  

“The speakers were very knowledgeable.” – Raychele B. Sterling, Esq.  

The day again moved very smoothly and efficiently, and I appreciated how seamless it all was.” – Page Allinson, Esq.

“Excellent.” – Paul Miller, Esq.

“The content was really informative.” – Jeffrey Slack, Esq.  

“I really liked the mediation and trial/evidence portions of today’s program.” – Evan L. Smith, Esq.  

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

“Totally satisfied. Highly relevant to my practice area.” – Justin Otten, Esq.

“Excellent primer. Excellent faculty.” – Ruth Stoner Muzzin, Esq.

“I think it was great to have the insights of a judge.” – Ronda Dixon, Esq.

“Great overview. Speakers were all great!” – Ian Guthrie, 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.

“Judge House was the best presenter because I loved her real-life, practical experience.” – Cheryl Nelson, Esq.

“This was well done.” – Diane Herring-Ysaguirre, Esq.

“Very knowledgeable speakers, great to have the materials beforehand.” – Anna Darr, Esq.  

“Great information.” – Joanna Averett, Esq. 

“Very good.  Just what I needed at this time.” – Carmen Qualls, 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.

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

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

“It was excellent – very helpful to me as someone just starting out in this area of law.” – Gabrielle J. Korte, Esq.

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

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

Excellent. – Adele Schneidereit, Esq.  

“I liked the interaction among the speakers. All of them are extremely knowledgeable about probate and litigation involved. Hearing their views and hints and exchanges was very interesting.”

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

“Excellent speakers and materials.”

“All of the speakers were excellent. Top notch. Outline is a terrific resource.”

“I thought these speakers were well-informed and excellent.”

“The speakers are excellent. Part of my practice is in this area of law. The areas I know were well presented and I also learned new things. I like the lists of the SOL and the statutes with summaries in the written materials. I will use that later for reference.”

“Excellent. These folks know their material.”

“Excellent. Just what I needed as a first-year associate in a trust and estates litigation firm.”

“Informative, right level of detail—appreciate that the handouts have more detail than the slides/presentations. I have only been practicing probate for 1 year. For those concepts I am familiar with, it was a nice refresher. On those issues that haven’t arisen, it will help me issue spot.”

“I thought it was very helpful. Lots of good information and taught in clear and concise manner.”

“I appreciated the very hands-on information and checklist provided in this presentation. More than the other two days. A very practical walk-through is what I value most.”

“Some good practical examples provided in the handouts along with insights.”

“Topical, practical, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Judge’s point of view on best practices from the bench.”

“Great presentations and materials, thanks!”

“Excellent material and presentations. I found the trials and evidence section to be particularly helpful.”

“Really enjoying it so far. Really good information.”

“Excellent overview, coverage, and material.”

“Very well-done presentations. Clear and knowledgeable.”

“Great to have materials to refer to after this program.”

“Presenters are knowledgeable.”


“Informative, especially the Evidence session.”

“Very good. Trial and evidence very informative.”

“It was great, very interesting.” 

“Great job.” 

“The information was helpful.”  

“I really liked part 2 of this program. All the speakers provided important information.” 

“Yevgeny was my favorite. He gave a very clear and informative presentation, and I appreciated the sample declaration provided by email.” 

“Lots of good information.”  

“The information gives me more confidence in practicing probate litigation.” 

“Comprehensive overview of the probate litigation process.”

“Very good; clear and organized information.”

“Informative and useful information.”

“Very content rich.”

“It was great. Great slides/handouts.”

“Great content.”

“Very informative. Learned new material and practice tips.”

“Practical information I can implement today – that’s what I was looking for.”

“Very well-executed.”

“I liked the probate note section – very useful.”

“I am enjoying the program and finding it very informative.”

“Very informative and thorough.”

“This was good, particularly the conservatorship section.”

“I enjoyed it!”

“Very informative.”

“Very useful program (Part III). Love the hypos for ethics. Fantastic and practical.”

“Clear and comprehensive, efficiently presented.”

“Part III was the best session of the series!”


“Good speakers.”

“Great program – thank you for answering my questions.”

“Very helpful.”

“Good topics. Good panel. A good refresher.”

“All really good.”

“Great information and real-life examples.” 

“It was great! Very informative.” 

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

“This was an excellent 3 hours, if the next two sessions are as good this will have been one of the best programs I’ve ever attended (and I was admitted to the Bar in 1981).”  

“It was very informative; the speakers were interesting and stayed on point. Very good.” 

“My scores for the speakers are based on their excellent delivery of experience-based information and advice.”  



“There is a lot of helpful information.  The handouts are really helpful to be able to go back and reference.” 

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

“Excellent presentations. 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 refresher course – highlighted items/issues not used often.”

“Very satisfied.”

“Ethics session was very well done. I enjoyed the hypotheticals.”

“The program was very good.”

“Mr. Saenz was enlightening. Mr. Herbert was well-organized, a good speaker with great advice. Ms. Wright is always great! Animated, interesting, practical and generous with forms. Judge House is always great! She’s personable, practical and knowledgeable, and her delivery is well-organized.”

“It was a really good program.”

“Lauriann presented very useful material. Very entertaining speaker. Robert is awesome. Judge House is a really good speaker with great stories.” – William Benz, Esq. “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!”

“I really enjoyed the dialogue between panelist Judge House and Ms. Wright. Similarly, I liked the panelist discussion between Ms. Bergman and Mr. Saenz.” – Tracy T. Woo, Esq.

“Lauriann Wright was very knowledgeable as to litigation and providing case examples to cover points. Thanks for sharing witness tips!”

“The handout materials are great.”

“Really good handouts.”

“Thank you.” – Phuong Kim Nguyen, Esq.

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

“Excellent overview.”


Hon. Mary Thornton House (Ret.)
Retired Judge / Los Angeles Superior Court
Alternative Resolution Centers

Judge House recently retired after 22 years on the Los Angeles Superior Court, where she presided over countless jury and court trials in the Civil and Probate departments. With experience serving as the Supervising Judge of the Northeast and North Central districts, Hub Operations and Assistant Supervising Judge of Civil countywide, Judge House brings a unique and in-depth understanding of all aspects of civil case processing and case values. She is touted for her calm demeanor and unbending graciousness to all that appeared in front of her, as well as her extraordinary and relentless, common-sense approach to settling cases.

Judge House was the first Municipal Court Judge to become a Supervising Judge for the Superior Court in the Northeast District. Elevated in 2000, she presided over mandatory settlement conferences in both limited and general civil matters, reducing the civil caseloads throughout the Northeast and North Central Districts. 

In 2004, she moved to a Civil direct calendar court at the Mosk Courthouse, handling civil matters including personal injury, contract, employment, professional malpractice, asbestos and products liability. She routinely conducted successful settlement conferences for her colleagues and her own matters. She returned to Pasadena in 2010, presiding over Probate and Family/Civil harassment cases. In 2016, she returned to a downtown Probate Department for two years before retiring in 2018. 

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge House was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles. Initially, she was a criminal prosecutor, but transferred to the civil branch to defend lawsuits against the City and its employees. Her last five years included advising the Los Angeles City Council, Police Commission and Fire Commission. She successfully defended the City’s Police and Fire departments in high dollar-value and high-profile cases in both federal and state courts. 

Barry L. Adams, Esq.
Law Office of Adams & Rafferty, P.C.

Barry Adams has been certified as a Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the State Bar of California. He concentrates his practice in estates, trusts and elder law. Barry has extensive experience in all aspects of estates, trusts and elder law. He is particularly experienced and passionate about assisting families in conflict after loved ones die.  He takes great pride in finding creative and innovative ways to end the conflict so the grieving family members can move on with their lives. He is the founder of the Elder Law Clinic of Empire Law School and was formerly a professor of Elder Law at Empire Law School. He is a member of  the Probate and Trust section of the State Bar of California and the Trusts and Estates Sections of the Orange County Bar Association and the Sonoma County Bar Association. He speaks about avoiding conflict and contests in trusts and estates to groups throughout California.  In his spare time, he is an amateur genealogist, avid tennis player and admitted gadget lover.

Yevgeny L. Belous, Esq.

Rodnunsky & Associates

Yevgeny L. Belous completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California Santa Cruz in 2005, graduating with a degree in Economics and Business Management. Mr. Belous earned his J.D. from Thomas Cooley Law School in 2009. For 10 years, Mr. Belous has been practicing exclusively in the areas of trusts and estates, conservatorships, guardianships, estate planning and probate litigation. A large portion of Mr. Belous’ practice is devoted to representing professional fiduciaries in court proceedings and private trusts. This includes representing professional fiduciaries in disciplinary proceedings by the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau. Mr. Belous is a frequent lecturer on probate law, fiduciary ethics and fiduciary practice management. He has been named a SUPER LAWYER RISING STAR for 2018, 2019 and 2020.


William G. Benz, Esq.
Carico Macdonald Kil & Benz LLP

 William G. Benz is a seasoned litigator in the firm’s trust and estate litigation and business transactions departments.  He assists a broad array of clients, ranging from private professional fiduciaries to privately-owned companies.

Mr. Benz represents both beneficiaries and fiduciaries in complex probate court matters – including family-member, paid professional, and public fiduciaries.  Due to his background in business and corporate law, Mr. Benz brings to bear a unique set of tools that aids him in trust and estate disputes involving intricate layered corporate entities.  He also helps his clients in cases of financial elder abuse, fiduciary surcharge and removal, and Probate Code section 850 petitions to recover trust property.

Mr. Benz is also experienced in forming businesses and ventures, including limited liability companies, S-Corporations, C-Corporations, and the transition or sale of existing businesses.

He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in California, has served as counsel for Amicus Curie in front of the California Supreme Court, and has prosecuted cases for the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s office through the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Trial Advocacy Program.

Mr. Benz received his B.A. in Political Science – Public Law from the University of California, San Diego and obtained his J.D. from the University of California, Davis where he served as Senior Editor of the U.C. Davis Business Law Journal. He is also a graduate of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Trial Advocacy Program.

Kirsten A. Brown, Esq.

Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP

 Ms. Brown received her B.A. in Economics and B.S. in Management from the University of California, Merced. She was a member of the Chancellor’s List for outstanding academic achievement and was a member of Order of Omega Honor Society. Ms. Brown received her JD from Southwestern Law School. She received several awards for her accomplishments including: Dean’s Merit Award, Public Interest Grant Recipient and the Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Services. Ms. Brown was a Lead Article Editor for the Southwestern Journal of International Law. She was one of four students selected to be a part of the Appellate Practicum in her final year of law school regarding an immigration appeal before the Ninth Circuit. She was also a member of several clinics at Southwestern including: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Immigration Law Clinic. 

Ms. Brown was a judicial extern in the United States District Court for the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall. She also externed in the Department of Justice, Tax Division where she helped draft motions in bankruptcy and tax court.   

Before joining the firm, Ms. Brown worked as a tax attorney at a boutique tax resolution company in Burbank, California, where she managed over 300 cases dealing with a variety of tax issues including audits, offers in compromise, innocent spouse, and back tax debt to name a few. She also managed high tax debt cases with taxpayers owing more than a million dollars in back taxes.

Ms. Brown is admitted to the California State Bar and the United States District Court, Central District of California. Her publications include "Anti-Dumping Duties: Brazil’s Solution to its Cotton Subsidy Dispute with the United States" and helped author "Sporting Events as Sites of International Law, Society, and Governance: The 2014 Brazil World Cup: Forward" in the Southwestern Journal of International Law. 

Daniel B. Herbert, Esq.
Partner/Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law
Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP

Daniel B. Herbert is a partner in the law firm of Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP, where he has been head of the firm’s trust and estate litigation group since 2005. Previously he was a partner with McKay, Meyer and Herbert, APC, where he was in charge of that firm’s trust and estate litigation for eight years. He has successfully litigated many contested trust and estate matters, including at trial and on appeal, including winning a .4 million judgment at trial and a .1 million appeal in the same day. He is certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law.

Mr. Herbert has made several presentations to attorneys including to the American Bar Association at the 2009 Annual Symposia of its Real Property, Trust & Estate Section in Washington DC (regarding trust and probate litigation); the State Bar of California at its 2014 Summit in Newport Beach (Litigated to Death: How to Sue, Defend, and Settle with the Dead); the Los Angeles County Bar at its Trusts & Estates Symposium in 2015 (ethics for the probate bar); and post-death litigation presentations to civil litigation and trial attorneys in Los Angeles (broadcast live to five other cities) in 2012, 2016.

His presentations for Pincus Professional Education include specialist-certification courses in 2013, 2015; Trust & Estate Boot Camp in 2014; Probate practical course in 2016; Advanced Estate Planning seminar for complicated estates in 2016; and Probate Litigation 101 in 2017 & 2019.

He authored Trustees Face Big Liability published in the Insurance Journal on December 20, 2010, and Last Beneficiary Standing: Identifying Proper Parties in Fiduciary Litigation published in the ABA e/Report in June 2009.

Mr. Herbert is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of California (1990), Illinois (1994), and New York (2002), and before the Seventh and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal. He graduated cum laude from Whittier Law School in 1990 with many honors and distinctions (Law Review, Dean’s List, Honor Roll, Dean’s Merit Scholarship, and several American Jurisprudence Awards). He is a member of the trust and estate sections of the American Bar Association, California Lawyer’s Association, Illinois State Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, and Pasadena Bar Association.

Mark A. Lester, Esq.
Lester, Schuck, Becker, Dehesa & Hirschberg, LLP

Attorney Mark A. Lester is an estate planning attorney with extensive experience in a succession planning, probate, trust administration, and trust and estate litigation.  Mr. Lester has received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell for maintaining the highest standards of professional and ethical excellence in the legal community. He is focused primarily in the following areas of practice: Trust and Estate Litigation; Succession and Estate Planning; Trust Administration and Probate

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.

Mr. Lester earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1977.  In 1980, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from Seattle University School of Law.  While attending law school, he was Chairman of the Membership Committee of Phi Delta Phi and an Associate Editor for the Puget Sound Law Review, now known as the Seattle University Law Review.  He also received the American Jurisprudence Award in Trusts and Estates.  After graduating from law school, Mr. Lester went on to earn his Master of Laws, or LL.M., Taxation degree from Boston University School of Law in 1981. 

Mr. Lester is a local community leader as well, volunteering for the Ventura County Wellness & Caregiver Resource Center and the golf committee for the Ventura County Council Boy Scouts of America, is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles, Inc. and formerly on the Oxnard Police Foundation, and continuing as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Western Los Angeles County Council Boy Scout Troop 485, where three of his sons attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He is also an avid outdoorsman with a fondness for golfing, camping, hiking and RV-ing.

Jeffrey Marvan, Esq.
Marvan Law APC

Jeff Marvan is the founder of MarvanLaw, A.P.C.  A 1999 graduate of the U.C. Davis, King Hall School of Law, Jeff started his career as a criminal public defender for Yolo County. In 2003, Jeff refocused his passion for the law on estate planning and probate and trust litigation. He realized his longtime goal of establishing his own firm in 2006 when he launched MarvanLaw, A.P.C.

Jeff thrives in the courtroom. He enjoys the strategy and quick thinking necessary for litigation. As a former criminal defense attorney, he understands the courtroom dynamic and uses that foundation to continuously achieve positive results for his clients.

Jeff has a passion for estate planning.  It is a creative way to help families plan for their long-term future.

Jeff is always trying to solve cases for his clients.  He, additionally, enjoys acting as a mediator and representing neutral third parties to help contesting parties get out of the economically and emotionally expensive court system.

Jeff is a member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Probate Volunteer Panel, and the Los Angeles County Probate Settlement Officer Program. He is part of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Trust and Estate subcommittee responsible for helping organize continuing education focused on trust and estate subjects.

From 2012 to 2014, Jeff served as an associate professor at Glendale University College of Law, teaching trusts and estates.  Jeff has presented at numerous legal education programs sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section, the San Fernando Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section, the South Bay Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section, the Professional Fiduciaries Association of California, Pincus Professional Education, and others.  Jeff is currently the business representative of his local neighborhood council.

Jeff grew up in Miami, Florida, and attended undergraduate school at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. He met his wife Jade while working as a public defender in Northern California. They live in Los Angeles with their two daughters.

Lauriann Wright, Esq.
Wright Kim Douglas ALC

Lauriann Wright is an experienced probate litigator and estate planner located in Glendale California. For over 25 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. The focus of her practice is the representation of professional fiduciaries, with success in helping fiduciaries maintain neutrality amid litigation among family members. She also represents select private clients in trust and estate litigation matters, like will and trust contests. She has been named as a Southern California Super Lawyer in Trust and Estate Litigation for over ten consecutive years, from 2012 through 2022. In fact, for 2020 through 2022, she has been named one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Southern California and, for 2021, she was named one of the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers in Southern California. For 2016 through 2022, she is also listed as one of "The Best Lawyers in America" in Litigation / Probate by Best Lawyers and her law firm has been named a Best Law Firm by U.S. News & World Report as well.  And she has been named as a member of the National Advocates: Top 100 of Wills, Trust, and Estates Lawyers. She has also been AV Rated Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.

Mrs. 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. Her representation of fiduciaries has included high-profile matters involving the Disney family as well as Britney Spears. She has also served as a fiduciary herself through court appointments as a receiver for real property, guardian ad litem, and trustee. Mrs. 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 Court Appointed Counsel Panel as well as the Trusts and Estates Sections of the State Bar and the Los Angeles County Bar. 

Four key qualities make Mrs. 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, Mrs. 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. 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. 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.

 Mrs. 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. Mrs. 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. 



Three Recorded Package options to choose from:

Video (with sound)* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download: $499

Audio Only* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download: $499

Order both the Video* and Audio Only* Packages for only $50 more – CD or Download: $549


*The Video recording is a video of the webinar (with sound). The Audio recording is audio only, for those who wish to listen to it without visuals (such as in the car).

Note: All downloads must be downloaded to a computer first, before transferring them to another device.


For CDs, please add $8.50 shipping and, in CA, sales tax.

(Recorded packages are available approximately two to three weeks after the seminar is held. If you can’t wait – we held this program November, 2020 and that package is available to order now here).



CLE Credit

CA General and Ethics:  This program is approved for 9.75  units of general CLE in California including .5 units of Ethics.

CA Certified Legal Specialist Credit in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law – Participatory CLE:  Approved for 9.75 Participatory units through April 3, 2025.

CA Certified Legal Specialist Credit in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law – Self-Study CLE:  Approved for 9.75 Self-Study units through April 3, 2028.

NY General: This course is eligible for approval, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 9.75 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 state 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. Many attorneys ask for this and are approved in other states.

$499.00$549.00 each

Recording/Recorded on April 4, 11 & 18, 2023.