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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32339
Experience:  Estate Law Expert
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My sister died in California and it tooksix months to go

Customer Question

My sister died in California and it took
six months to go through probate. There
was a lot of money. Who pays the HOA
fees and utilities during probate? Me the
heir or estate?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.
The estate would be responsible for paying them until such time as the property is transferred to the heir since the estate actually owns the property during that time. Normally the home would be rented out during the probate, possibly to the heir or someone else, and the income would be used to pay any fees, upkeep, etc. or whatever else the executor sees fit and the judge approves.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The trustee, in California, billed me for property taxes, utilities, HOA

fees and left the place dirty. These costs were deducted from monies

I had coming from the estate. Also, should the Trustee in California

have given me a written appraisal?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
It usually wouldn't be billed to you if the estate owned the property, it would be paid by the estate and then the remaining proceeds distributed. If you are in disagreement then you would need to go to the probate court and ask the judge to reapportion the amount. There's no requirement that a written appraisal be given to an heir. Usually the paperwork is filed with the court in the form of an inventory and appraisement or there would be an appraisal filed withe the court and then the heirs can see the documents in the court records.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The house was in a trust in California. The trust then owns the house

until the house is transferred to me. Therefore, all debts, including

HOA and taxes, and utilities are to be paid from trust by trustees.

The California lawyer said that it went to "benefits" and that I don't understand as had not had possession of the place.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
That's different than the house being in the probate. The answer is likely still the same but you would have to take the actual trust documents to a local lawyer and have them review it to know for sure.Since the trust actually owned the property the trust should still be responsible for all costs up through the time of transfer. However, the trust documents could be written in such a way that it makes the person who is receiving the property responsible for the amounts for a period of time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Trust document just says that condo goes to me. No special

instructions.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Then you have to petition the court. You can do it through the probate or a separate action in a separate court but it would probably be cheaper to just bring the trust issue into the probate court.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** small claims court? The trust is still open.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
I don't think small claims court would have jurisdiction. This is really in the nature of an injunction or a declaratory judgment and that requires a higher court than small claims. It's going to have to be at least in probate.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok Then, thank you!

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
You're very welcome. I hope everything works out well.Best wishes to you and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work

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