Bryan’s practice focuses exclusively on helping individuals and families avoid and resolve inheritance disputes. Here, Bryan assists and advises clients on proactive estate planning techniques, diligent administration of trust and probate estates, and zealous representation in court. Bryan is best known for his creative and effective advocacy in trust and estate disputes, including will and trust contests, fiduciary accountings, breach of trust, financial elder abuse, and court-supervised protective proceedings such as conservatorships. Bryan is a Certified Special in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, and is consistently named by his peers as a Norther California Super Lawyers Rising Star in the area of Trust & Estate Litigation.
Trust & Estate Litigation
- Invalidated trust on the basis of undue influence through trial court judgment
- Negotiated multiple $1,000,000+ settlement agreements involving disputed wills or trusts
- Secured $1,100,000 judgment in financial elder abuse lawsuit
- Recovered millions of dollars from caregivers on behalf of clients
- Successfully removed or suspended many trustees and personal representatives on the basis of breach of trust
- Reformed or modified numerous trusts and wills through court order to correct drafting mistakes or take into account changed circumstances
- Saved client an estimated $6,000,000 in estate taxes by identifying and correcting a funding issue within estate plan prepared by another law firm
- Avoided the unnecessary requirement to create irrevocable subtrusts (e.g., Bypass Trust, Exemption Trust, B Trust) by utilizing a variety of estate planning tools, tailored to the terms of the particular trust and family dynamic
- Developed and implemented long-term succession strategies for legacy assets, such as family businesses and recreational properties
- Assisted hundreds of clients with preparing foundational estates plans to avoid probate, plan for incapacity, minimize taxes, and discourage inheritance disputes
- National Business Institute, “Probate and Trust Litigation,” January 17, 2020 (co-presenter).
- National Business Institute, “Probate and Trust Administration,” May 23, 2019 (co-presenter).
- Rotary Club of Rancho Cordova, “Planned Giving Through Value-based Estate Planning,” June 2015
- California State Bar Solo/Small Firm Summit, “In Sickness and in Health? ‘Til Death Do Us Part?” June 2015.
- University of California, Davis, Introduction to Financial Planning and Analysis, “Fundamentals of Comprehensive Estate Planning,” April 29, 2014.
- Professional Fiduciary Association of California, 19th Annual Educational Conference “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Trustee Protection in a Post-Giraldin World,” April 26, 2014 (co-presenter).
- Legal Services of Northern California, Elder Task Force Training, “Elder Financial Abuse: Actions and Remedies,” April 18, 2014 (co-presenter).
- Financial Planning Association of Northern California, “Five Red Flags to Spot in Order to Prevent Your Client’s Estate Plan from Failing,” June 2012.
- Bryan L. Phipps, Undue Influence: Pressure Brought to Bear Directly on the Burden of Proof, Trusts and Estates Quarterly, forthcoming.
- Bryan L. Phipps, Bien-Venue: Commencing Breach of Trust Litigation in the Proper County (2016) volume 22, No. 2 Cal. Trusts and Estates Quarterly 17.
- Bryan L. Phipps, U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Inherited IRAs Highlights the Benefits of IRA Trusts, The Trusts & Estates Law Blog (June 19, 2014).
- Bryan L. Phipps, Celebrity Trusts & Estates: Paul Walker Leaves His $25 Million Estate to His Teenage Daughter, The Trusts & Estates Law Blog (February 5, 2014).
- Bryan L. Phipps, Celebrity Trusts & Estates: Another Battle in the Saga of Bing Crosby’s Right of Publicity Comes to an End, The Trusts & Estates Law Blog (January 31, 2014).
- Bryan L. Phipps, Celebrity Trusts & Estates: Casey Kasem Conservatorship Battle Highlights the Need for Clarity Regarding Control over Visitation, The Trusts & Estates Law Blog (January 8, 2014).
- Bryan L. Phipps, Avoiding Acceleration: How to Put the Brakes on Due-on-Sale Clauses when Funding Your Revocable Living Trust with Encumbered Real Property, The Trusts & Estates Law Blog (November 7, 2013).
- Bryan L. Phipps, When Applying the 120-Day Statute of Limitations under Probate Code § 16061.8, When is a Trust Contest “Brought?”, The Trusts & Estates Law Blog (October 4, 2013).
- Bryan L. Phipps, Note, In re Williams Securities Litigation—WCG Subclass: How Dura Met Daubert, 2010 BYU L. REV. 215.