Sometimes people make mistakes in managing trust assets and fail to properly fund their trusts by transferring title of their assets to it. If an asset is not legally titled to a trust, the Trustee or Successor Trustee will not have authority to take actions relating to that asset, including distributing the asset to its ultimate beneficiary. During the lifetime of the Trustor or Grantor of the Trust, mistakes in title are easily mitigated by correcting title. However, after the death of the Trustor, this is no longer a simple task. Commonly, it isn’t until a death and administration that mistakes in titling become apparent.
In these instances, it is possible that a full Probate will need to be opened and carried out in order to transfer the incorrectly titled asset to its intended beneficiary. However, it is also possible that a simplified probate procedure, sometimes referred to as a Heggstad Petition, may be warranted and may be able to save the Estate time, expense and hassle.
The best way to prevent and correct titling mistakes is to work regularly with your estate planner by keeping him or her apprised of your assets and important life changes. If, however, you are a Successor Trustee or Beneficiary and find yourself in a position where an error in title is identified, please schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable estate planners to discuss the possibility of obtaining an order of title of Trust Assets without enduring a full probate.
The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500.