From DM: Fax to Cal. lawmakers begs them to fix Probate in Alameda County

City Council
Darryl Moore 510 981 7120
Council Member, district 2

ACTION CALENDAR
October 18, 2016
To; Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council
From:  Darryl oore
Subject:  Resolution to Fix Probate Court and Investigate
Council member Darryl Moore
Mayor Tom Bates
Council member Kriss Worthington
Examining Alameda County Probate Court Process, Including
Consideration of Establishing A Grand Jury to Investigate
RECOMMENDATION:
Adopt a Resolution requesting an examination of the way in Which the probate courts in
Alameda County function and the City Clerk send copies of the resolution and agenda
item to the Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County
Supervisor Keith Carson, Assembly member Tony Thurmond, and State Senator Loni
Hancock.
BACKGROUND:
The Berkeley City Council was recently approached by a group consisting of dozens of
African American families that feel that they have been unfairly treated by the probate
court system and, as a result, lost significant portions of their respective Inherited
assets.
Some of the concerns raised by local African American families include the folIowing:
When there are issues with an estate, the matter of disbursing the proceeds of the
estate is typically assigned to a probate court. Differences of opinion in selecting an
heir as the Special Administrators or Managing Trustees of the Living Trust or Will can
often lead the probate judge to assign a court-appointed attorney to function In this role,
These court-appointed attorneys often accumulated significant fees that are assessed
as a lien against the assets of the will or living trust. As a result, there is an implicit
incentive for the court-appointed attorney to sell assets as to extract their payment. The sale of said assets can often be done hastily, at below-market-value, to encourage a quick sale. Those sales are often done without consideration by the court appointed trustee or special administrator to whether or not the heirs of the estate may desire to purchase the asset. As a result of those aforementioned factors, heirs are often unable to purchase the assets of the estate and are often saddled with significant costs liened against assets of the estate. When the assets are disbursed to the heirs, the costs incurred can often approach 30-50% of the estate value.
We request that the District Attorney of Alameda County impanel a grand jury to
investigate the way in which the probate court system functions to determine whether
certain groups are disproportionately affected compared to others and how the system
can be improved for all families,

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED:

WHEREAS, questions have been raised about whether certain groups are
disproportionately affected compared to other groups; and
WHEREAS, as a result, a group of local African American families feel as though issues
related to the probate court system are magnified for their community. including the
following; and
WHEREAS, differences of opinion in selecting an heir as the Special Administrators or
Managing Trustees of the Living Trust or Will can often lead the probate judge to assign
a court-appointed attorney to function in this role; and
WHEREAS. court-appointed attorneys often accumulated significant fees that are
assessed as a lien against the assets of the will or living trust; and
WHEREAS, as a result, there is an implicit incentive for the court-appointed attorney to
sell assets as to extract their payment; and
WHEREAS, the sale of estate assets can often be done hastily, at below-market-value,
to encourage a quick sale; and
WHEREAS, the sale of estate assets are also often done without consideration by the
court-appointed trustee or special administrator to whether or not the heirs of the estate
may have a desire to purchase the asset; and
WHEREAS, costs incurred on the estate can approach 30-50% of the value; and
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Berkeley that the
Council requests that the Alameda County District Attorney empanel a grand jury to
review the process in which probate is administered to determine whether people of color and/or women may be being disproportionately affected by the probate court system and whether improvements can be made to correct the system for all families and become more equitable

 

From Joanne:

 

I think this is a wonderful declaration of rights for what is really happening in our nation’s court system and it has to end.  The poor and minorities and brown and black people are affected the worse by  all of the perfidy, legerdemain and mendacity which runs amok.

We must insist on accountability and oversight from committees who have members who are tested for psychopathy with a PET brain scan first.

We are all tired of the lies, deceptions and theft of our loved ones and their assets.

JoAnne

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2 thoughts on “From DM: Fax to Cal. lawmakers begs them to fix Probate in Alameda County

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