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Heggstad Petition

A Heggstad Petition may be used in California when real property or an asset of a decedent was excluded from their Living Trust. This often happens when a decedent failed to transfer an asset into their living trust prior to their death. 

Assets that are not properly transferred into a Living Trust may be subject to probate, which can cause a delay in distribution, and the asset not being distributed to the intended beneficiary.

A Heggstad Petition essentially declares that the property is a trust asset even though the asset was not formally transferred into the trust. 

Why is a Heggstad Petition Filed?

In general a Heggstad Petition is filed when real property or an asset did not get formally transferred into a decedent's trust. The petition is typically filed by an attorney who is representing a beneficiary, trustee or other interested party. There are several common reasons why this type of petition is filed in California: 

  • The decedent who created the Living Trust forgot to transfer the property into the trust; 
  • The transfer documents for the property was improperly prepared, resulting in an ineffective transfer; 
  • The decedent who created the Living Trust died before they had a chance to transfer the property into the trust;
  • The decedent who created the Living Trust was unaware that they needed to change the title of the property; 
  • The decedent who created the Living Trust removed the property in order to refinance, and the property was never put back into the trust.

A Heggstad Petition will avoid unnecessary delay and high costs associated with a formal probate. 

Consult a California Probate Attorney

Fortunately, California allows the filing of a Heggstad Petition when a decedent inadvertently failed to title into their Living Trust. The result is the property being titled into the trust so that the property is distributed according to the terms of the trust. If your loved one passed away, leaving assets or real property outside of their trust, contact Attorney Jessica Ward to set up a complimentary 30 Minute Consultation by completing the online contact form, or contacting the office at (925) 459-1777.

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Law Office of Jessica R. Ward is committed to answering your questions about law issues in California. We offer a complimentary consultation and will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.