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Heggstad Petitions

Under California Law, even where an asset has not been included in a trust, there may be a way to transfer assets directly into a trust and avoid probate. It’s called a Heggstad Petition, so named after Mr. Halvard Heggstad, a man who died before properly completing the transfer of the title of a property into a trust. His family realized the error and requested that the court include the property in the trust, since given his Schedule of Assets, it was clearly his intent to do so.

Here are answers to some common questions about who, when and how a Heggstad petition can be filed:

Q: What are the requirements for filing a Heggstad Petition and who can file?

A: A successful petition includes full documentation, including accurate, up-to-date information about the decedent and the beneficiaries. Heggstad Petitions are filed under California Probate Code 850

  • Where the decedent while living is bound by a contract in writing to convey real property or to transfer personal property and dies before making the conveyance or transfer and the decedent, if living, could have been compelled to make the conveyance or transfer.
  • Where the decedent while living binds himself or herself or his or her personal representative by a contract in writing to convey real property or to transfer personal property upon or after his or her death and the contract is one which can be specifically enforced.
  • Where the decedent died in possession of, or holding title to, real or personal property, and the property or some interest therein is claimed to belong to another.
    Where the decedent died having a claim to real or personal property, title to or possession of which is held by another.

As your attorney, we prepare the petition and assist, guide and represent you throughout the process.

Q. When can I file a Heggstad Petition?

A. The petition should be filed as soon as a discrepancy or issue is noticed. A 30-day notice must be sent to all interested parties (anybody who has a financial stake or legal obligation in the estate). This may require personal service, meaning the notice must be delivered by handing it to the party directly. Typically, the petition process should get through the courts and completed within 60 days.

Q. What assets can be requested in the petition?

A. As long as it is in the Schedule of Assets (which shows intent to include property or assets in the trust) almost any asset can be petitioned for, including real estate, investment accounts and bank accounts.

Discuss your needs with a qualified, experienced Heggstad Petition attorney

To learn more about how we can help you, please contact our office online or call us at (760) 249-7776 to schedule a consultation. We serve clients throughout Southern California including San Diego ,Riverside County and Orange Counties.,