Christine M. Allen is the Supervising attorney of the firms Trusts & Estate Planning Department. She represents trustees, beneficiaries, institutional clients and individuals in variety of trust and estate matters. Her practice focuses on trust and estate litigation, estate planning, probate, trust administration and conservatorship administration and litigation.
Trust and estate matters involve significant and often difficult decision-making. Ms. Allen understands the complexities of the family relationships often involved in these matters and strives to guide clients through the legal process with attention to both the client’s legal and personal goals.
Ms. Allen has a broad knowledge of probate, trust and conservatorship law and procedure and offers a results-oriented approach, in order to provide her clients with a direct, honest and realistic assessment of their legal matters. She enjoys aggressively pursuing clients’ rights in litigation in order to secure favorable outcomes for clients.
Some examples of Ms. Allen’s trust and probate litigation practice include representation of parties in will and trust contests, petitions for fiduciary surcharge and removal, petitions for interpretation of wills and trusts, fiduciary accountings, probate real property sales, petitions to recover property of a decedent, substituted judgment petitions, appeals and more.
Representative examples of results achieved:
Recovered a six-figure settlement for a client’s incapacitated elderly mother, which funded a conservatorship established for the mother’s future care.
Obtained a court order for a beneficiary that reduced two co-trustees’ attorneys’ fees taken from a trust by $300,000.00, adding this sum back to the Trust estate.
Completed a complex trust administration wrought with litigation involving $110 million in creditor claims and only $2 million in assets. Achieved appointment of client as successor trustee, worked with co-counsel to settle multiple creditor lawsuits, brought motions to dismiss barred claims, petitioned for court approval of settlements and closed the administration with full court approval of trustee’s fees and attorney’s fees.
With extensive discovery and trial preparation regarding mismanagement of a trust-held business, helped a beneficiary receive a mid-six figure settlement from a trustee just hours into trial.
Multiple demurrers sustained without leave to amend, effectively ending litigation in favor of clients at an early stage: for example, recently ended a Fraud and Violation of Probate Code sections lawsuit via demurrer, drafted winning demurrer ending a Quiet Title action brought by a decedent’s caregiver, and drafted winning demurrer ending a lawsuit filed against a trustee in a Toxic Tort action.
Successfully defended clients in three separate appeals in the last three years, with judgments in the clients’ favor being affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
Protected multiple fiduciaries facing potential surcharge by negotiating favorable settlements.
Trust and Estate Litigation
Trust and Probate Administration
Conservatorship Administration and Litigation
Trust and Estate Appeals
Juris Doctor – Pepperdine University, 2006
Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Emphasis in Journalism, magna cum laude – California State University, Fullerton, 2003
California State Bar Legal Specialization Exam Passed in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, 2013 (Application for Certification as Specialist is Pending)
California Notary Public
Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
American Bar Association, Member
State Bar of California, Trusts & Estates Section, Member