Case Study: “Forgotten” Tahoe Property Results in Probate

Probate is never easy for a family. It comes at a time of loss and grieving. Depending on the complexity of the estate, it can be extremely time-consuming, and it can be expensive. There’s generally also a sense of remorse. If parents or loved ones had only created a Living Trust, funded it and kept it updated, all of this could have been avoided.

Danville resident “Kathleen” recently came in to our Walnut Creek office seeking information and direction. Her Mom had died peacefully in her Walnut Creek home in July and Kathleen was now in charge of settling the estate. Thankfully, at the urging of her daughters, mom had created a Living Trust and Kathleen trusted that all of her assets were titled in the name of the Trust.

A Tahoe vacation property had never been moved into the Trust

In reviewing the paperwork, however, Kathleen realized that her mother’s Tahoe vacation home, which the whole family had enjoyed over the years, had never been moved into the Trust. In order for Kathleen to settle the estate so she could divide the assets with her siblings, she had to sell the Tahoe property, which meant Probate. Kathleen would have to open a Probate case, then be appointed by the court as Executor of her mother’s estate.

A Living Trust must be properly funded and updated

When a Living Trust is set up, it is important that all assets be transferred into the Trust, including vacation property. Note that this also includes timeshares—something that frequently gets overlooked. California Document Preparers can help with Deed transfers anywhere in the United States. Kathleen learned the hard way–having a deed prepared and recorded is a lot simpler and much less expensive than Probate.

Of course we do Probate!

Unfortunately, more than 50% of Americans die without a Living Trust, which means their heirs must go through Probate. If the Probate is uncontested, California Document Preparers can help you—and also help you save a considerable amount of money. Call today for an appointment. We’re helpful, compassionate and affordable.