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By: Scott Grossman on September 15th, 2016

When Probate is Necessary

There are many times when an estate may still need to go through probate. So when is probate necessary? Even if there is a will or trust already this is often the result of ambiguous or incomplete estate planning. Such as a will or trust that wasn’t updated at all to reflect the changes of the decedent. This is due to unclear writing in the will or trust.

These few examples show when probate is necessary for the estate.

  1. Assets were never put in the trust. It is possible to create an estate plan that appoints beneficiaries without transferring property or accounts into that trust.
  2. Assets were taken out of the trust. If an asset was removed from a trust to sell or designate a different beneficiary, it might be in the decedent’s name and never transferred back into the trust.
  3. Accounts are taken without transferring the trust. Even with an estate plan, if an account is secure and a new one is open in the name of the decedent instead of the beneficiary, then the account will need to go into probate.

For instance, to refinance your mortgage, the lender tells you that the house must be in your name. So you transfer the house out of the trust. The house will go into probate if the house is never taken back, even after the refinance is complete. There are some circumstances after probate, the court decides that the house needs to have an administer.

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