Freeman, Freeman & Smiley LLP

Professional Details

Stephen M. Lowe, Senior Counsel

Stephen M. Lowe's practice focuses on complex litigation in the areas of trusts, probate, conservatorships, and estate planning. He is a certified Mediator and a Los Angeles Probate Court Volunteer Settlement Officer.

Mr. Lowe has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Trusts and Estates Litigation, and named to the Southern California Super Lawyers list (2014-2017), a designation bestowed on only the top 5% of lawyers in this region. 

Professional & Community Involvement

  • California Bar Association | Trust and Estates Section
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association | Trust and Estate Section | Executive Committee | 2014 - 2017
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association | Trust and Estate Section | Chair, Court Liaison Committee | 2015-2017
  • W.I.S.E. Senior Services | Board of Directors and Past Chairman | 1996 - 2007
  • Oberlin College Parents Executive Committee | 2007 - 2011

Representative Clients and Matters

  • Estate of Giraldin, 55 Cal.4th 1058 (2012) – Lead trial attorney and appellate attorney for this landmark California Supreme Court case which established the right of remainder beneficiaries to bring actions for breach of fiduciary duties after the death of the trustor of a revocable trust.
  • Estate of Boyle, LASC - Lead trial attorney in a trust contest in which a trust amendment was deemed invalid and the educational institution represented by Freeman Freeman & Smiley thereby received the $3M gift originally intended by the trustor.
  • Estate of Thomas – Multiple appeals which led to a legislative revision of California’s adoption of the Uniform Principal and Income Act defining what constitutes a partial liquidation of a trust asset.

Presentations & Publications

  • “The Prudent Investor Rule – Compliance and Litigation Strategies” | South Bay Estate Planning Council | April 2014
  • "Were the Trustee's Investments Prudent? Objections and Defenses" | LACBA Trusts & Estates Symposium 2013 | September 2013
  • "Protecting Celebrities with Diminished Capacity; Circling the Star Wagons" | South Bay Bar Trust and Estates Section | July 2010
  • "Celebrity Dementia" | Santa Monica Bar Association | May 2010
  • "The Road to Trial in Contested Probate Matters" | Los Angeles Paralegal Association | Probate and Estate Planning Section | January 2001
  • "Basic Estate Planning" | St. John's Health Center Foundation | January 2001
  • "Ten Questions to Ask Yourself When You are Asked to Be a Trustee" | January 2000