During Difficult Times, You Need A Trusted Expert

A Probate & Trust Specialist

Laura Klein, Certified Probate & Trust Specialist (C.P.R.E.S)
Probate and Trust real estate transactions are not typical real estate transactions. When selecting a real estate agent to represent you in a probate and/or trust situation, you need a professional who understands the process.  This is where our team is equipped to navigate you through probate and trust process.
Probate is the legal process for distributing a deceased person's property to their heirs and beneficiaries and settling any debts. The probate process carries out the instructions in a person's will. Additionally, if there's no will, it follows state law. If you own a house in California and you die without a living trust, your heirs or beneficiaries will have to engage the probate court to transfer the title out of your name into theirs.
If someone dies and he or she has a trust then no probate is needed. However, many of the procedures that are taken in a probate are still applicable to a trust. If someone dies having drafted a living trust, there is no probate proceeding but rather the process is called a trust administration. A trust administration is NOT a court-supervised proceeding, like a probate, but rather the successor trustee will manage the trust's assets in accordance with the terms of the trust in strict adherence to the California Probate Code.
When someone is no longer able to handle his or her own financial and/or personal affairs, the court can appoint an individual (the conservator) to act on behalf of the incapacitated person (the conservatee). The judicial procedure for this appointment is called a probate conservatorship. The establishment of a conservatorship restricts the conservatee’s powers over financial and/or personal care decisions.

How To Determine If Probate Is Necessary

Living Trust

No probate needed.

Joint Tenancy

Probate necessary if all joint tenants have passed away.

Community Property

Could require probate.

Community Property With Right of Survivorship

Could require probate.

Revocable Transfer on death deeds (RTOD)

No probate if beneficiary added to RTOD and otherrequirements met.

spousal petition

Not if there is no will and real property is left with surviving spouse or domestic partner and a Spousal Property Petition is filed. Still, a spousal petition with take 3-4 months to complete. There are several key elements to the “fast track” Spousal Property Petition. 

Heggstad Petition

If a homeowner takes the property out of trust for a reason such as refinancing and doesn’t never deeds back into the trust. The “Heggstad Petition” allows for the house to be put back into the trust to avoid probate. It is important to know the facts and circumstances involved in your particular case. This procedure takes about 4 months to complete.

Affidavit RE Real Property of Small value

If decedent’s property is worth less than $166,250, a probate is not necessary; however, certain forms must be files, depending on your case. It does not require a court hearing, but all heirs need to sign off on it. The process usually takes about 2 months.

Petition to determine succession to real property ($55,425 to $166,250)

Avoid a probate by filing Petition to Determine Succession to Real Property. The process requires a court hearing and can take about 2 to 4 months to complete.

A Network Of Trusted Professionals

We work with a network of professionals to assist you with each step of the probate or trust sale transaction.

  •  Knowledgeable Probate Realtors®
  •  Guide Through Probate Selling Steps
  •  Pre-Sale Home Preparation Plan

  •  Specialized Attorneys
  •  Certified Public Accountants
  •  Financial Planners

  •   •  Estate Sale Professionals
  •   •  General Contractors & Handymen
  •   •  Junk Removal Services

Learn More About Our Probate Real Estate Services



Laura Klein

5 out of 5 stars