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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6516
Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
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my father has a living trust, a lawyer i recently spoke with

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my father has a living trust, a lawyer i recently spoke with said the deed was never filed to the trust, so he has to file a hegsted(sp?)How much should that cost? there are 4 people on the trust i am the successor trustee, actually it states my sister and/or I are.He keeps mentioning probate whatever is cheaper, what? so the trust isn"t any good? The trust also staes his wife died 5 years ago and this lawyer says we need to file something to take her name off the deed? the house is paid off!! He claims He needs to notify all parties, there is only one we may not be able to reach but will protect his assets until we do. All the parties except the missing one are in agreement. We just want to sell the house and spilt the money as Dad had wanted. How much could this really cost and do I really need a lawyer? Next He had a motorhome which was registerd in both his and his deceased wifes name but I believe the loan was only in her name. That is how the bill comes just in her name. Can I just let the bank take it back?

TMcJD :

Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

TMcJD :

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

TMcJD :

IF this is possible, it is less expensive than a probate but will still cost $1,000 to 2,000 at a minimum.

TMcJD :

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.

TMcJD :

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.

TMcJD :

The trust is good, but additional steps are needed because title wasn't properly transferred to the trust by deed during life.

TMcJD :

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.

TMcJD :

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.

TMcJD :

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.

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