Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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It is a Heggstad petition to fund an unfunded trust based on documented evidence the property was intended to be transferred to the trust (such as listing the home in an exhibit or schedule to the trust). http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/heggstad-petitions-in-california---probate-code-850
IF this is possible, it is less expensive than a probate but will still cost $1,000 to 2,000 at a minimum.
Probate is the alternative to get the property from the estate to the trust if the Heggstad petition will not work due to lack of evidentiary support. That would cost $4,000 or more depending on numerous factors including amount of property, the attorney hourly fees, etc.
As far as notifying parties -- yes, with a Heggstad petition, a probate, and even trust administration, the interested parties do have to receive certain notices. It's difficult to navigate the law concerning required notices in the various administrative processes that you'll need to complete to get the property to the trust, sold, and then the proceeds distributed pursuant to the trust. You really need an attorney to assist you with navigating that process.
The trust is good, but additional steps are needed because title wasn't properly transferred to the trust by deed during life.
Yes, since the deed is in both names, an affidavit of surviving spouse/joint tenant needs to be filed to get title in your father's name only. Then the other matters can be handled to get title over to the trust, sold, etc.
If the loan is only her name but both names are XXXXX XXXXX you could let it go to the bank but there may be other options depending on when both names were added to the title. Your attorney can assist you with deciding how best to handle the situation.
With all the steps that will be necessary, you should expect attorney fees to be somewhere between $5-10 K. Speaking to several attorneys and getting estimates of costs and expenses can help you make the decision to go with the attorney you're most comfortable with.