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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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My uncle left me s house in a trust that he bought from

Customer Question

My uncle left me his house in a trust that he bought from staples, it was not notorized, however I am the only living relative so it will not be contested,will i be able to take the trust and his death certificate to the mortgage co and have it transferred to me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.

Unfortunately, as your Uncle did not have the trust document notarized, it is not going to be effective as a trust.

However, as you are the only heir, you can inherit the property through "intestate succession" (see: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/intestate-succession-california.html) and enter the non-notarized trust as an exhibit into the probate proceedings to help with any issues that may arise (there shouldn't be any).

To transfer the property you have 2 separate things you need to do.

First:

You need to transfer the title to the property, you will do this through the probate court (I would recommend hiring a lawyer to help you with this, as a non-contested probate proceeding this should not take a long period of time, so it should not cost a lot of money, but it is important to do it properly the first time as fixing errors later gets expensive). You can find more about probate court here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/8865.htm

Second:

You need to get the mortgage transferred to you - you can do this either by applying with the mortgage company and asking them to transfer the account to you (they may or may not be willing to do this, it depends in a large part on your credit worthiness - credit score, outstanding debt, job history), or you can try to get financing from other lenders (such as credit unions or small banks (good places to start), or a mortgage broker.

In the meantime, it is important to ensure that the mortgage payments stay current, or that you have a written deferrment agreement with the mortgage company (if you are hoping to get them to allow you to take over payments, this is probably not a good strategy, but a deferral agreement is where the mortgage lender agrees to allow you to miss payments, so there is a greater accrual of interest). If you do not make payments or have a written deferral, the property can be foreclosed on.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can I continue to make the mortgage payments if they don't know he is deciesed
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

It is possible to do (this isn't contractually or legally appropriate, but it happens), but keep in mind, you haven't transferred the property, so this leaves you at risk of paying for the property but not having any right to the property.

(This isn't a very prudent course of action).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
he passed this month, how much time do I have to get everything in order. had he notarized the trust would I have been able to transfer house to me
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was told the trust was still good even though he did not have it notarized
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

You can still transfer the house to your name, but you need to go through the probate proceeding as opposed to utilizing the trust process.

(Even if the trust had been executed, the mortgage loan would need to be dealt with).

The sooner you initiate the probate proceeding, the sooner the property will transfer to your name (the probate case generally must be left open for at least 4 months to allow adverse claims to be filed - but most can be closed in about 6).

It is usually recommended to file a probate proceeding in 3-6 months after the passing of the testator (your Uncle's death).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have money to hire a lawyer, can I do the intestate succession on my own, do I need to go to a specific court
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will make the mortgage payments so it dosent forclose, while it is in probate
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

You can do this yourself, use the link to the California Courts above to get some basic information about the probate proceeding and forms to get started.

You can also find information online using the Sacramento Law Library (your local law library is also going to be extremely helpful): http://saclaw.org/law-101/probate-topic/