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A service to transfer estate documents

Since 1994, the State Bar has offered a Transfer of Estate Documents (TED) service to members, which allows the transfer of original estate planning documents under certain circumstances. If an attorney is deceased, lacks legal capacity or is no longer an active member of the State Bar, original estate planning documents in his or her custody may be transferred to another attorney or to the Superior Court clerk of the county of the client’s last residence.

The information that such a transfer has occurred may be listed with the bar’s membership records department.

For purposes of this service, estate planning documents are defined as:

  • a signed original will, declaration of trust, trust amendment or other document modifying a will or trust;
  • a signed original power of attorney;
  • a signed original nomination of conservator; and
  • any other signed original instrument that the attorney and depositor agree in writing to make subject to the transfer service.

A TED form can be found on the bar’s Web site, calbar.ca.gov > Member Services > Bar Member Billing & Records > Estate Planning Transfer. The form and a list of depositors should be mailed to The State Bar of California, Membership Records, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105. No original documents or copies should be filed with the bar.

Nominations sought for Aranda Award

Nominations are open for the Benjamin Aranda III Access to Justice Award. The award is given annually to a California judge or appellate court justice who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to equal access to the courts and who has done significant work in improving court access for low- and moderate-income Californians. 

Sponsored by the California Commission on Access to Justice, the award will be made jointly by the Judicial Council, the State Bar and the California Judges Association. It will be presented in the fall.

Nominating forms are available at calbar.ca.gov under access to justice. Hard copies of the form are available from Chris Zupanovich at 415-538-2534 or chris.zupanovich@calbar ca.gov. The deadline for nominations is June 30.

Sign up for e-briefs

The State Bar offers “e-briefs,” a short summary of recent news developments or announcements of interest to lawyers. The electronic mailings are provided on a timely basis, usually twice a month. To subscribe, go to “e-briefs” listed under “News” on the home page of the State Bar’s Web site, calbar.ca.gov.

Please, if you move, notify the State Bar

Nearly a quarter of the State Bar’s membership — some 45,000 lawyers — changes their address every year. And although the Business & Professions Code requires attorneys to notify the bar about that address change, it often doesn’t happen. As a result, lawyers don’t receive important mailings, such as the annual fee statement, MCLE notifications, bar cards, sections publications and the California Bar Journal. While they don’t receive those mailings, often their former law firms or businesses at an old address do.

Under B&P §6002.1, active and inactive members have 30 days to notify the State Bar about a change of address. Some law firms now ask departing employees to fill out the State Bar’s change of address form.

Complete information about changing an address can be found on the bar’s Web site, calbar.ca.gov; click on Attorney Address Change in the right-hand menu. The change can be made online, by mail or by fax, and if done by mail or fax, must include a photocopy of one piece of identification, such as a driver’s license, State Bar membership card, passport, California identification card, military identification card or birth certificate.

A particularly difficult problem is keeping track of members who have died. In the last few months, the bar received several hundred return mailings, after its fee statement was mailed, due to members’ deaths. There is no requirement that a family or business notify the State Bar of an attorney’s death, but the Member Services Center asks that the bar be notified if you are aware that a lawyer has died. 

The Member Services Center can be contacted at 1-888-800-3400.

Five seats open on State Bar, CYLA boards

Attorneys eligible to vote in the election of five new members of the State Bar Board of Governors must cast their ballots by June 30. Eleven candidates are seeking one of the five open seats and ballots were mailed May 1.

The districts with an opening are: District 1, Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba counties; District 3, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties; District 5, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Tulare counties; District 7, Los Angeles County; and District 9, Imperial and San Diego counties.

Five seats in the same districts also are open for the California Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors.

The candidates’ campaign statements are on the bar’s Web site, calbar.ca.gov; click on Board of Governors in the left-hand menu. Summaries of their statements appeared in the May California Bar Journal.

New board members will take their seats in October.

Questions about the State Bar election may be addressed to Billie Sivanov at billie.sivanov@calbar.ca.gov or by calling 415-538-2274.

Questions about the CYLA election may be addressed to Leanna Dickstein at CYLA@calbar.ca.gov or by calling 213-765-1337.

Judicial Council advisory committee positions open

The Administrative Office of the Courts is seeking nominations to fill openings on nine advisory committees to the Judicial Council. Terms of service, generally three years, begin Nov. 1, and the deadline for nominations is June 30.

Vacancies are on the following committees: appellate, civil jury instructions, civil and small claims, collaborative justice courts, criminal jury instructions, criminal law, family and juvenile law, legal services trust fund and probate and mental health.

Nominations may be sent by mail or fax to: Administrative Office of the Courts, Office of the Secretariat, attention Roma K. Cheadle, 455 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102-3688; fax 415-865-4332.

An online nomination form is available at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/jc/nomform.htm. Questions may be directed to Cheadle at 415-865-7640.

Bar publishes three new consumer pamphlets

The State Bar has published three new pamphlets that address elder abuse, alternative dispute resolution and becoming a lawyer. They are part of the bar’s “Get the Legal Facts of Life” consumer education program and join a list of 20 other pamphlets, some in Spanish, English or Vietnamese.

The new pamphlets are: How Can I Resolve My Dispute Without a Trial?; What Should I Know About Elder Abuse?; and How Do I Become a Lawyer? The elder abuse pamphlet will be translated into Spanish.

All bar pamphlets are available online at calbar.ca.gov by clicking on Consumer Pamphlets in the right-hand menu. There is an online order form or ordering information is available by calling 888-875-LAWS.

Got questions? Call the Member Services Center

The State Bar operates a Member Services Center with a toll-free number, 1-888-800-3400, for active and inactive lawyers seeking information about member benefits, services and regulatory compliance.

Visit legal London and earn MCLE credits

The State Bar Litigation Section will sponsor “A Week in Legal London” July 9-14, offering an opportunity to experience the inner workings of the English legal system, expand litigation skills and meet with members of the London legal community.

The registration fee is $2,295 per person, and includes daily luncheons, two receptions, a formal closing dinner at historic Trinity House, and the education programs and materials. Accommodations are available for an additional fee.

The Litigation Section also will offer an “Oxford University Summer Program” from July 16-20. The registration fee of $1,295 per person includes four nights lodging at Magdalen College in Oxford, all meals, education programs and materials.

Attendance at both programs will fulfill all 25 required MCLE hours. Participants may attend either or both programs.

More information is available at calbar.ca.gov/litigation or by calling 415-538-2546.

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