Biography

Shawn S. Kerendian is the founder and Managing Partner of Keystone Law Group, P.C., and is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law (State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization). Shawn founded Keystone to provide clients with specialized, focused and efficient legal services in probate, trust and estate matters. Shawn supervises and manages a team of probate attorneys in the administration and litigation of estates, trusts, conservatorships, and guardianships.

As an experienced litigator with over a decade of experience in this practice area, Shawn helps clients resolve contested litigation through creative thinking and the implementation of short-term and long-term strategies to accomplish a client’s goals within the client’s budget. Shawn has litigated hundreds of probate disputes, including heirship claims, community/separate property issues, property ownership disputes (850 petitions), financial elder abuse claims, will contests, trust contests, Marvin actions, creditor’s claims, equitable adoption claims, breach of contracts to make a will, interpretation and construction disputes, etc.

Shawn is comfortable handling all stages of litigation, from the development of case strategy at the inception of the case through settlement or trial. Shawn represents professional fiduciaries, trustees, beneficiaries, heirs, executors, administrators, creditors, corporations, non-profit organizations, conservators and guardians.


  • In 2017, Shawn was named as a “Top 40 Under 40” Attorney in California by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal, a state-wide legal newspaper that is highly revered among attorneys in California.
  • Shawn was also recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine five years in a row (as a Rising Star from 2016-2019 and as a Super Lawyer in 2020) and as a top 100 Southern California Rising Star in 2018.
  • Shawn has the highest possible rating on Avvo based on feedback from clients.
  • Shawn is AV Rated by his peers on Martindale-Hubbell for exhibiting the highest level of professional excellence.

Speaking Engagements

  • The Probate Process From Start to Finish, National Business Institute (NBI), Topics: “Tax Reporting and Post-Mortem Tax Problems” and “Probate Disputes and Litigation” January 27, 2017.
  • Probate Bootcamp, National Business Institute (NBI), Topics: “Probate Litigation” and “Closing the Estate,” June 16, 2017.
  • City National Bank, presentation to its Wealth Advisers, Client Managers, Private Bankers and Wealth Analysts, Topics: “Trust Litigation” and “Limitations of the Trustee’s Attorney-Client Privilege,” July 19, 2018.
  • USC Leventhal School of Accounting, Guest Speaker to Professor Jack Barcal’s Course on Family Wealth Preservation, January 23, 2019.
Shawn S. Kerendian
Managing Partner
Education

Shawn received his undergraduate degree from UCLA, graduating cum laude, and his law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

Specialist

Shawn is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law (State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization).

Memberships

  • California Lawyers Association, Trusts & Estates and Litigation Sections
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Trusts & Estates and Litigation Sections
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association, Trusts & Estates and Litigation Section
Representative Matters
  • Obtained long overdue accountings from executors, administrators and trustees on behalf of numerous heirs and beneficiaries
  • Recovered surcharges and damages against fiduciaries who improperly managed and/or embezzled estate or trust assets
  • Represented administrators, executors and trustees in estates and trusts valued from a few hundred thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars
  • Provided advice and guidance to trustees and personal representatives in the administration of trusts and estates, so as to minimize the risk of litigation by the heirs/beneficiaries
  • Assisted families in recovering assets that were embezzled by persons who took advantage of elderly parents, grandparents and other family members. Litigated claims of financial elder abuse against the embezzlers
  • Successfully litigated for and defended against will contests and trust contests involving claims of mental incapacity, undue influence, fraud, duress and forgery
  • Litigated various claims regarding entitlement to estate distribution and trust distribution, including heirship petitions, equitable adoption claims, and Marvin actions
  • Represented creditors in enforcing claims and judgments against the estates and trusts of decedents
  • Recovered millionsof dollars for creditors from the estates and trusts of decedents, including trusts subject to a spendthrift clause
  • Assisted families with initiating conservatorship proceedings for loved ones in order to allow the conservator to make important medical and financial decisions for the incapacitated conservatee
  • Recovered tens of millions of dollars in cash and assets for the spouse of a decedent who was improperly deprived of her community property rights by the successor trustee of her deceased husband’s trust. Led a team of multiple attorneys in three states over a period of three years in this highly complex and difficult litigation

Volunteer Activities

Shawn has been appointed by the Probate Department of the Los Angeles Superior Court as a member of its Court Appointed Counsel (CAC) Panel (2018-2021). This designation allows Shawn to be appointed by the court as CAC to represent persons in special proceedings, such as a proposed conservatee – i.e., a person who is currently the subject of a judicial proceeding to determine whether a conservatorship is appropriate (typically an older adult with symptoms of dementia).

Shawn has also qualified to act as a member of the CAC Panel for Guardian ad Litem (2019-2021), which is one of only four specialty panels within the CAC Panel, which is reserved for highly experienced probate attorneys. This designation allows Shawn to be appointed by the court in contested matters to act as a representative on behalf of one or more of the parties (usually a minor or an incompetent adult) who lack the ability to represent themselves in the litigation.

Shawn has also been selected to act as a settlement officer in the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program. This Program is intended to provide parties with probate, trust, estate, guardianship, and conservatorship litigation matters which are pending before the Central District of the Los Angeles Superior Court an opportunity to resolve their cases by an experienced attorney in the field. Shawn has been successful in settling probate litigation cases as a settlement officer.

Interests

Shawn is a passionate Los Angeles Lakers and Green Bay Packers fan; spends his free time working out and playing competitive basketball; and enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and pets.