Trust And Estate Administration

Q: My mom recently died without a will and had a vacant parcel of land in Modoc County worth about $10,000. Can my sister and I transfer title to ourselves without a probate?

A: Yes! Assuming your mother didn't have any other probatable assets, you and your sister can file with the court a Form DE-305 in the County where the land is located to have the property title transferred without probate.

Q: My mom recently passed away with a paid off home (worth $500,000) but owning no cash assets. Unfortunately, she also had $20,000 of credit card debt. Will I be forced to sell her house to pay off the debt?

A: Potentially. The bottom-line is this: creditors have first priority BEFORE any heirs/beneficiaries receive estate assets. Therefore, since your mom’s estate is solvent, the credit card company is entitled to be paid back in full. However, since your mom’s estate...

Q: My mother recently passed away and now I am the Successor Trustee of her trust. In a nutshell, what are my primary duties as the Successor Trustee?

A: The three primary duties you will have are the following: (1) the collection, safeguarding and evaluation of the Trust Estate assets; (2) the payment of debts and liabilities of the Trust; and (3) the timely distribution of the remaining Trust assets to the...