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California Heggstad Petitions: Helping You Collect Real Estate or Other California Assets Left Out of a Trust

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Scenario: A client or loved one executed a revocable living trust during their lifetime, but forgot to put their assets in their trust before their death. Yikes! What happens if an asset gets left out of a trust? 

In California, if a person dies leaving assets in their individual name, then depending on the value of those assets, their estate may need to go through a formal probate process. Probate is a legal procedure to distribute assets to a person's beneficiaries (or, heirs). This is a very time consuming, expensive, and public process here in California.

Probate is not automatic, however, if the decedent executed a living trust during their lifetime leaving clear intent that they regarded the forgotten asset as a trust asset.

We get it. Life gets busy and hectic. So, it's not uncommon for someone to forget to retitle bank or brokerage accounts, or even put California real estate back into their trust if they refinanced their mortgage loan over the years. 

Fortunately, California allows attorneys to file what's known as a Heggstad Petition (named after the famous case Estate of Heggstad, (1993) 16 Cal. App. 4th 943) to bring the forgotten asset(s) back into a deceased person's trust so that it may be distributed according to the terms of the trust. This process is much more cost-efficient than a formal probate proceeding. 

Heggstad Petitions are a very useful administration tool, many California Court systems are so backlogged (more so than ever due to COVID-19 and mandatory court closures) that filing a Heggstad petition and getting a Court Order can take months in many California counties. 

So, if your client or loved one died as a California resident leaving California real estate or other California assets, our office can prepare a Heggstad Petition on your behalf and can get a decision from the Court in a matter of days.

Contact our office today for help collecting assets left out of a trust. We will get it done in a matter of days, not months...guaranteed! 

Read what our happy clients are saying about our Heggstad Petition services


  • Greg B. from San Diego, CA Recommends Lauren Rios

    Delivered as promised!  Heggstad Petition approved by the court in 4 business days!!!!! During Covid-19!  If you need a Heggstad Petition anywhere (with some stipulations) in California, Lauren is your attorney.  My mother passed away unexpectedly and did have a Revocable Living Trust. She also h... Read On

  • Bay P. from Rancho Santa Fe, CA Recommends Lauren Rios

    I was starting to panic. We were in escrow, the buyer was waiting for loan docs, the file was complete except one issue with title. I had never had issues with title in my 51 years of being a licensee.  This one was personal in that it dealt with my mother's estate. The original attorney that dre... Read On

  • Donna H. from Alameda County Recommends Lauren Rios

    I had very time sensitive issue regarding my Mom's trust.  Lauren filed a Heggstad petition with the court and it was approved the same day.  Initially, she prepared me for the worst case scenario since there were no guarantees. I am so grateful to have her on my team. I highly recommend her.  Th... Read On

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