Steven P. Braccini

Steven P. Braccini

Steven Braccini is a fellow of the American College of Trusts & Estates Counsel (ACTEC).  In addition, Steve is a trial attorney and member of Hopkins & Carley’s Trust & Estate Litigation Practice.  His practice focuses on trust, probate and conservatorship litigation including, but not limited to:

  • Will contests
  • Trust contests
  • Removal and surcharge actions
  • Contested conservatorships
  • Accounting disputes
  • Financial elder abuse actions
  • Reformation or modification actions
  • Tax controversy
  • Related “civil” claims

Steve also has an appellate practice and has presented numerous seminars and workshops on issues related to trust and estate litigation.

Prior to joining Hopkins & Carley, Steve was an associate with Hardiman & Carroll, LLP, in San Francisco.  Before that, he worked as a law clerk for Clayton & McEvoy, PC, in San Jose and as a judicial extern for Magistrate Judge Edward A. Infante of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

  • During a jury trial, obtained a judgment of nonsuit in favor of his client, the trustee of a family trust, who was accused of engaging in financial elder abuse causing damages in excess of $50 million. 
  • Obtained a judgment cancelling a 98‑year lease on behalf of his clients following a two-week bench trial. 
  • Obtained judgment in favor of client involving a dispute over who was the intended beneficiary of an ambiguous residuary clause in a Trust, valued in excess of $5 million, following a multiple-day bench trial.
  • Obtained summary judgment, which was later affirmed on appeal, on behalf of clients in a case involving the voiding of a marriage after death. 
  • In an action spanning two different counties and seven petitions, obtained a very favorable “global settlement” increasing his client’s share in a $24 million apartment complex by $3 million while simultaneously extricating client from all potential liability.

Publications

  • “Make No Mistake – Estate of Duke Allows Reformation of Unambiguous Wills,” California Trusts and Estates Quarterly, State Bar of California Trusts and Estates Section, Volume 21, Issue 4, 2015
  • “Trustees, Look Out!,” The Docket, San Mateo County Bar Association, Volume 50, No.1, Jan/Feb 2014
  • “Taking It To The Trustee,” The Docket, San Mateo County Bar Association, Volume 49, No.1, Jan/Feb 2013
  • “Before and After:  A Trustee’s Duties to Remainder Beneficiaries Before a Settlor’s Death (And After Estate of Giraldin),” California Trusts and Estates Quarterly, State Bar of California Trusts and Estates Section, Volume 18, Issue 3, 2012

Speaking Engagements

  • "Daddy Lost His Marbles, Now What? — A Primer on Financial Elder Abuse and Capacity," Peninsula Estate Planning Council, January 2018
  • "Dispute Resolution, Communication, Mediation, Litigation", Kasner Symposium, Panelist September 2017
  • “The Only Constant is Change: Giraldin, Drake v. Pinkham and an Aging Population,” State Bar of California (Webinar), Lecturer May 2016
  • Funky Credit Day, Ethics and Probate, San Mateo County Bar Association, Co‑presenter January 2016
  • Ethics and Probate “The Old Man and the Three,” San Mateo County Bar Association, Co‑presenter January 2015
  • “Strategies in Commencing an Elder Abuse Case”; “Successfully Mediating an Elder Abuse Case”; “Trying an Elder Abuse Case,” 34th Annual Southern California Estate & Tax Planning Forum, Co‑presenter October 2014
  • “Beyond the Four Corners:  Extrinsic Evidence and Will Construction in Light of Estate of Duke,” Silicon Valley Bar Association, Co‑presenter September 2014
  • “Fiduciaries Gone Wild:  Breach of Trust and Financial Elder Abuse,” Palo Alto Area Bar Association, August 2014
  • “Attorneys’ Fees in Probates, Trusts and Conservatorships, State Bar of California Trusts and Estates Section, 2014 Summer Education Conference, Co‑presenter, May 2014
  • A Practitioner’s Minefield:  Elder Abuse and Ethical Issues Arising in the Trusts and Estates Arena,” Legal Assistance for Seniors – 9th Annual Conference on Elder Abuse, UC Hastings College of the Law, Co‑presenter May 2014
  • “Crossover Issues Between Probate and Family Law,” San Mateo County Bar Association, Co‑presenter May 2014
  • “The Metrics for Determining the Amount of Attorneys’ Fees in Probate,” San Mateo County Bar Association, Co‑presenter April 2014
  • “Minimizing Litigation Risks in Trust & Estate Administration,” Financial Planning Forum, Palo Alto, September 2013
  • “Before and After:  A Trustee’s Duties to Residual Beneficiaries Before a Trustor’s Death (And After Estate of Giraldin),” San Mateo County Bar Association, Co‑presenter September 2012
  • “The Perils of ‘Mail Order’ Estate Plans,” San Mateo County Bar Association, Estate Planning Section (Young Lawyers subsection), April 2012
  • American College of Trusts & Estates Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow
  • San Mateo County Bar Association, Estate Planning and Probate Section, Chair (2016-2017)
  • REACH Youth Scholarships, Board Member
  • State Bar of California Trusts & Estates Section Executive Committee, Bench/Bar Subcommittee Member
  • Silicon Valley Bar Association
  • San Francisco Estate Planning Council
  • St. Christopher Catholic Church, Lector
  • State Bar of California (2004)
  • J.D., Santa Clara University
  • B.A. Psychology, Santa Clara University

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