Gary M. Ruttenberg

Gary M. Ruttenberg has been practicing law in California since 1971. His practice emphasis is estate planning and litigation, guardianships, conservation administration and elder law. Clients include banks and trust companies, private professional fiduciaries and individuals. He is a fellow of the American College of Trust Estate Counsel and is a State Bar of California certified specialist in Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law.

Curricula Vitae


University of California, Los Angeles, B.S. in Business Administration, 1967
Loyola University – School of Law, J.D., 1970

Bar Admissions

State Bar of California, January, 1971
US Federal District Courts: California: Central, 1971, Southern, 1974

State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, Certified Specialist: Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law

Professional Associations

State Bar of California, Trusts & Estate section
1Estate Planning Tech­niques, Post-Death, Law Revision Study Team – Committee Member
Trust & Estates Section [formerly: Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section];
Probate Law and Administration Committee; Estate Planning Techniques, Pre-Death Committee; Estate Planning Techniques, Post-Death Committee; Litigation Subcommittee – Member

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
Elected as a Fellow, 1991
Elder Law, Guardianship and Health Law Committee – Member, 1992 – 1994
Subcommittee – Legal Alternatives to Guardianship – Member, 1993 – 1994
Fiduciary Litigation Committee – Member, 1994 – Present
Subcommittee – Will & Trust Contests – Member, 1994 – Present
Subcommittee – Elder Abuse Litigation – Chairman, 1997 – 1999
Case Note Co-Reporter, 2009 – Present

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Member – 1997 – present

Los Angeles County Bar Association:
Probate, Trust and Estate Planning Litigation Sub-Committee – Founding Co-Chairman, 1991-2008
Executive Committee, Trust and Probate Section (1983-1986, 1996 – 1999, 2005 – 2008) – Ex-Official Member 2009 – present.

Beverly Hills Bar Association:
Probate, Trust and Estate Planning Committee – Member, 1973-Present, Past Chairman (1980-1981), Vice Chairman, Secretary/Treasurer
Probate, Trust and Estate Planning Litigation Sub-Committee – Member 1991 – present
Pro Per Guardianship Project, Planning Committee – Member
Probate, Trust and Estate Planning Section, Taxation Section, Business Law Section – M Member

Professional Recognition

State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Advisory Commission, Commissioner, 1999 – 2002.
Who’s Who in American Law
Southern California Super Lawyer, 2005 – 2013.
California State Controller’s Advisory Probate Referee Interview Panel, Member (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2001).
Advocates of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles (1998 – 200?).
Judge – National Civil Trial Competition, 2004 – 2012.

Publications and Editing


Inventory and Appraisement Chapter, California Decedent Estate Practice, Continuing Education of the Bar, 1986
Trust Administration, Some Basics – Part I, Los Angeles Paralegal Association Reporter, October 1991 (Volume 20, Issue 10)
Modification, Termination or Revocation of Trusts chapter, Probate Litigation, Continuing Education of the Bar, in process


How to Live – and Die – With California Probate, Second Edition, 1984
How to Live – and Die – With California Probate, Third Edition, 1991


Case in Point column, Newsletter of the Probate and Trust Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1983-1985

Recent Professional Speaking

  • Beverly Hills Bar Association – Trust & Estates Section, July 2012 – “Hill Street Blues: Fiduciary Reports and Accountings – How to Compel and Defend Them” [With Carmen Alberio and Lynard Hinojosa]
  • Santa Monica Bar Association – Probate & Trust section, November 2012 – “Be Prepared to Get That For Which You Ask: Musings on Settlement Provisions for Contests of Wills and Trusts and for Conservatorship Matters”

Other Activities/Memberships

Gary has extensive knowledge of American and Native American art. Also, he serves on the board of directors of various charities, including:

Thelma Pearl Howard Charitable Foundation:

  • 1. Founding Director, 1994 – date.
  • 2. President and Chairman of the Board, 1994 – date.

Autry Western Heritage Museum

  • 1. Trustee (2012 – present);
    • A. Committee Member – Collections Committee, (2012 – present);
    • B. Committee Member – Institute Committee (2012 – present);
    • C. Committee Member – Reparations Committee (2012 – present)
  • 2. Southwest Museum Development Committee (1988-1989); Gala Committee (1988-1992);
  • 3. Southwest Museum Collector’s Club – Vice Chairman (1989-1990).
  • 4. Sponsor: Native Marketplace – Best of Classification – Jewelry (2010, 2011 and 2012)
  • 5. Friends of the Naive Marketplace (2012 – present)

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