From Trusts & Estates – Safeguarding Trusts from Future Ex-Spouse – Also Good Marketing for Estate Planning Attorneys

Trusts & Estates article Safeguard Trusts from Future Ex-Spouse of Beneficiary

This is a very interesting article from Trusts & Estates that I almost overlooked. It isn’t the Massachusetts case discussion that interests me, it is that I never hear estate planning attorneys discussing these topics and using these topics to tell people additional reasons why they might need a trust and how trusts can be used, and to differentiate one estate planning attorney’s services from another. Click on the following link for the article, CLICK HERE

Dave Tate, Esq., civil (business, real estate, injury), trust, estate, conservatorship and elder abuse litigation and contentious administrations, representing fiduciaries, beneficiaries and family members, San Francisco and throughout California. See also my other blog for audit committees,

Using Risk Management – Citations Against Nursing Homes – Criteria for Determining the Amount of the Civil Penalty – California Health and Safety Code Sections 1424 and 1424.5

California in part uses risk management principles to determine the amount of civil penalty to levy against a nursing home for a care violation. I would prefer, however, that in addition to the Section 1424 facts listed below, that the facts considered as criteria for determining the amount or increased amount of penalty also specifically include (1) the nursing home’s care policies, procedures and practices in place before the violation, and whether or not the nursing home was following those policies, procedures and practices, and (2) the nursing home’s timely payment of the penalty.

California Health and Safety Code Section 1424 in part provides that citations issued against nursing homes shall be classified according to the nature of the violation and shall indicate the classification on the face of the citation.

(a) In determining the amount of the civil penalty, all relevant facts shall be considered, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) The probability and severity of the risk that the violation presents to the patient’s or resident’s mental and physical condition (i.e., traditional risk management, the likelihood of the occurrence and the possible severity of an injury that could result from the breach or continuing breach).

(2) The patient’s or resident’s medical condition.

(3) The patient’s or resident’s mental condition and his or her history of mental disability or disorder.

(4) The good faith efforts exercised by the facility to prevent the violation from occurring.

(5) The licensee’s history of compliance with regulations (this criteria should get little or no weight – tell this criteria to a severely injured or dead elder or dependent adult and his or her family – the fact that a facility has a history of compliance, or that noncompliance has not been noticed in the past really isn’t relevant to the injured or deceased elder or dependent adult and isn’t a criteria in traditional tort law, so why is it relevant at all for the purpose of citation penalties levied?).

(b) Relevant facts considered by the department in determining the amount of the civil penalty shall be documented by the department on an attachment to the citation and available in the public record.

This requirement shall not preclude the department or a facility from introducing facts not listed on the citation to support or challenge the amount of the civil penalty in any proceeding set forth in section 1428.

Ombudsman Services – San Mateo County – Annual Report 2014-2015 – 4,497 Care Facility Visits – 1,624 Investigations – And More Good Work

Ombudsman Services SMC Visits Investigations FY 2014-2015

Below is a link to the San Mateo County, California, Ombudsman Services annual report for 2014-2015. The report shows amazingly substantial services for the year, including for example, 4,497 facility visits, and 1,624 investigations. As you might know, Ombudsman Services of San Mateo County, Inc. is committed to working with residents, families, facilities and stakeholders to create a community dedicated to protecting the rights of all residents living in long term care in San Mateo County. They challenge long-term care facilities to deliver the highest standards of individualized care for their residents, and advocate for the health, safety, and dignity of these residents and broader changes in the system.

The following is a link to the annual report – please take a look at this worthwhile organization that does good work on behalf of and protecting the rights of residents living in long term care facilities in San Mateo County, CLICK HERE

And please do pass this information and blog post to other people who would be interested in these very important services. Thank you.

Dave Tate, Esq., San Francisco and throughout California, civil, trust, estate, conservatorship and elder abuse litigation, and contentious administrations. My two blogs: and

Elder Abuse In Australia On The Rise – Government Makes A $100 Million Pledge

Click on the following link for an article out of Australia, elder abuse is domestic violence and is on the rise – the government makes a $100 million pledge: Click Here For The Article

AU Elder Abuse Article

Updated Elder Abuse and Protection Presentation Slides – Please Read and Forward

I have provided below a link to a PDF of my October 12, 2015, updated elder and dependent adult abuse and protection presentation slides. The slides are extensive. This is an important topic – and the resources are not sufficient to prevent or remedy the problem.

Please read and also forward this post and the materials to other people who would be interested. Click on the following link for the PDF and slides, ELDER ABUSE AND PROTECTION 10122015 FINAL

You can also find other discussions about this topic on other blog posts.

Thank you. Dave Tate, Esq., San Francisco and throughout California

Elder Abuse Protection Collaboration – Private Attorneys Needed, Updated Elder Abuse Slides Coming

Just some quick thoughts for this Friday morning.

I am seeing more materials and promotions by organizations reporting and combating elder abuse. All of that is for the good and obviously is encouraged and a lot more is needed. The efforts primarily involve spotting elder abuse and reporting to law enforcement, adult protective services or some other governmental entity. I’m also seeing more proposals to have or to offer to have a written form allowing a client to authorize an organization to contact a specific person, such as a spouse or other family member, if the organization believes that the client is being subjected to elder abuse. The written authorization is a good step in the right direction. But let me also tell you, and this comes from years of experience, you must have collaboration with private attorneys to combat and remedy elder abuse. This isn’t a negative comment – it’s just a fact that there will never be sufficient government and APS resources to combat and remedy the numbers of cases of elder abuse and the time and expertise that it takes to handle these cases. Collaboration with private attorneys is needed. I prepared a short blog post video on this in April 2015, which you can see on the following link (note, this video is prepared prior to recent equipment and presentation improvements),

I am also updating my elder abuse presentation slides, which I last posted in May of this year. I will post the updated slides in a couple of days, so do stay in touch.

Have a very good Friday, and weekend.

Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco and California),


Inheritance From Actor Troy Donahue Estate – Equitable Estoppel Gives Beneficiary Legal Status

Actor Troy Donahue died in 2001. On August 6, 2015, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (Los Angeles) held that Janene Curtis, the biological daughter of actor Troy Donahue, who was adopted at birth and thus was not entitled to inherit by intestacy, nevertheless is a beneficiary entitled to recovery pursuant to the doctrine of equitable estoppel. In other words, equitable estoppel conferred upon Ms. Curtis legal beneficiary status whereas otherwise she had no legal right to inherit. You can read the Court’s decision at the following link,,47 

In relevant part, the Court held that the separate legal doctrine of equitable estoppel conferred upon Ms. Curtis beneficiary status where the court appointed administrator of Mr. Donahue’s estate treated and communicated to Ms. Curtis as a beneficiary, Ms. Curtis relied upon the actions of the executor to her detriment, and the executor either knew that Ms. Curtis wasn’t an intestate beneficiary or was negligent in failing to know that Ms. Curtis wasn’t an intestate beneficiary.

This case is important because the Court applies the equitable estoppel doctrine in an inheritance case and cites other cases similarly holding. Although currently the decision is unpublished (the Court should change it to “published”), meaning that it cannot be cited as decisive legal authority in other cases, the case nevertheless is or might be relevant in other cases because it cites other legal authorities and provides a roadmap for the argument. Equitable estoppel can be another tool in estate, trust, conservatorship and elder abuse litigation cases.

Dave Tate, Esq. (California); Blog:; Email: