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By: Scott Grossman on July 19th, 2017

When both probate and trust administration are necessary in California


It is absolutely possible to have a probate and trust administration for the same decedent in California. There are many instances where probate is required in order to then be able to administer a trust.

This happens for very simple reasons:

  • Some or all of the assets were never put into the trust
  • Assets in the trust were taken out of the trust

Here’s an example:

Our client’s mother passed away. Before she died she created an estate plan. Her estate plan included both a will and a trust. Even though she created an estate plan our client’s mother never transferred her home into her trust.  Our client lived in Carlsbad but his mother lived in Lake Arrowhead. So our client first had to do probate in San Bernardino County of his mother’s home. She had a “pour over” will, at the end of probate the court ordered her home to be transferred to the trustee of her trust. Our client, who had just completed probate in San Bernardino, now had to begin trust administration in San Diego.

Examples of what causes the need for probate and trust administration:

Refinancing a home may cause the need for both a probate and trust administration. What happens during the refinance is the home has to be in your name. So, you take it out of your trust to do the refinance. What the lender never tells you is, now that you’ve completed the refinance, it is time to convey your house back into your trust. When the house is out of the trust, and the borrower dies, the house will need to go through probate. If there is a pour-over will then the house will go back into the trust and be administered according to the terms of the trust.

The same thing happens with liquid assets like bank accounts and mutual funds. People who have a living trust who close one account and open another one don’t always remember to open the new one in the name of their trust, rather than their names as individuals.

Sometimes the property that you thought a loved one had placed in the trust is discovered to have been left out of the trust for various reasons or have been moved out of the trust. There are many examples of how something can take place that later causes the need for a probate and trust administration.

If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form.  If you want a comprehensive overview of California Probate, then click here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, then you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.