LTL Obtains Affirmance of Judgment for Probate Client in the Second Appellate District

On August 19, 2019, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment LTL obtained for client Gong Hua Xi.  The Appellant had initiated a spousal property petition in the Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Department claiming that she became the putative spouse of the decedent four years prior to her legal marriage to him, and sought to use such status to claim community property ownership over real property the decedent held and purchased as separate property two years prior to their marriage.  Representing the decedent’s biological family, LTL obtained a judgment following trial denying the petition on the ground that the Appellant had failed to meet her burden to demonstrate that she was the putative spouse at the time that the property was purchased.  The Court of Appeal unanimously swept aside the Appellant’s arguments that the family lacked standing to object to her petition and that the trial court applied the incorrect legal standard.  LTL Senior Counsel Alex Hu and Associate Blake Guerrero briefed and argued the appeal.