A: A Heggstad petition is a legal maneuver used in California. If a person dies and leaves behind a trust, yet some of their assets weren’t properly transferred into the trust before their death, those assets typically would have to go through probate to be distributed according to the terms of the trust.
However, a Heggstad petition can help avoid this. If it can be demonstrated that the asset(s) in question were intended to be part of the trust (such as by listing them in a schedule of trust assets), the court may agree to consider them as part of the trust without going through the full probate process. This can save a significant amount of time and money.