CEB: What is your practice area and how did you choose it?
Agnieszka: I practice exclusively in the area of trusts and estates. My practice includes estate planning, probate, and trust administration. Our firm doesn’t, however, represent clients in trust and estate litigation matters. My interest in this field started in law school. I chose a tax concentration while at UC Hastings (I knew I wasn’t going to be a litigator). When I began practice, I was fortunate to work at a full service law firm where I was given the opportunity to explore various practice groups. I quickly realized that trusts and estates was the area in which I wanted to specialize.
CEB: What do you like best and least about practicing law?
When you’re preparing a will or trust for someone for whom capacity might later be raised as an issue, you have a potentially powerful tool that can help avoid later disputes: video. There’s nothing like a judge seeing a competent person discussing the disposition of his or her estate to knock the wind out of claims of incapacity.
Updated: The bankruptcy court in In re Sherr (Bankr ND Cal, Sept. 27, 2016, No. 16-10283) 2016 Bankr Lexis 3521 has held that the exemption for “retirement funds” applies to inherited IRAs under California law.
The law says that retirement funds are exempt property in bankruptcy, but the Supreme Court has held that this exemption doesn’t apply to inherited IRAs. End of story? Not quite.