Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Probate A/C Privilege Clarification Bill on Way to Governor

AB 1163 by Assembly Judiciary Committee Vice-Chair Van Tran, the CLRC-sponsored cleanup/clarification bill relating to the survival of the attorney/client privilege after the death of the client in probate matters, has passed the Senate on the consent calendar and is now in enrollment, the ministerial process of preparing the bill for transmission to the governor for signature. The bill should reach Governor Schwarzenegger's desk by the end of the week.

AB 1163 is follow-up legislation to Assembly Member Tran's AB 403 of 2007, a bill sponsored by the Trusts & Estates Section Executive Committee of the State Bar (TEXCOMM, T&E-2007-04), which provided for reestablishment of the attorney-client privilege when subsequent estate administration was required following the discharge of a personal representative, and further directed the CLRC to study whether the privilege should continue after death in all cases, civil and criminal. The commission recommended against expansion of the privilege, but proposed cleanup and clarification to the new probate application, including making it inapplicable to non-probate transfers.

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