Don’t file for Probate – Repair that Trust
Probate is most frequently required when the deceased person did not have a valid will or trust. However, even with a will and trust problems can arise. A Will and Trust are only valid to use to administer property that is titled in the name of the Trust. If the documents are created but the property is not transferred, the Trustee cannot use the Trust to manage or sell the property.
It happens all the time. A parent or loved one passes away and their living trust becomes irrevocable. When the new Trustee starts investigating the Trust’s assets they discover that
Now, because title to the real property is in the name of a deceased person a full probate will be required, right? WRONG ! In California we have a legal tool available to put the property back where it belongs: the Heggstad Petition. Using this petition the new Trustee can ask the Court to make a determination that the property is now, and has always been, a part of the Trust.
Filing a Heggstad Petition typically results in a court an order declaring that property listed on the Trust’s Schedule A is a trust asset, even if the title to the property was not properly transferred to the trust. The Court’s Order is then recorded with the County Clerk and the Trust now “officially” controls the property.
Some Probate Courts are more willing to cooperate with the Heggstad procedure than others. Because of their willingness to cooperate, filing these petitions in certain counties is more likely to result in a quick and painless transfer than in others. At our office we know which courts are friendlier and can assist Trustees in filing these petitions in courts where they are more likely to be granted quickly.
The Law Offices of Geoff Wiggs files Heggstad Petitions for our clients on a flat-fee basis. Please call us to discuss your particular needs.