Filing a Heggstad Petition
In 1993, Mr. Heggstad died without a trust. He had assets like his home that were intended to be in the trust, but were not included. He had essentially forgotten to sign and record the deed that transferred his home to the trust. In the case, the justice system found that having a schedule of assets attached to the trust was enough proof that the decedent wished for the assets to be placed in the trust.
Now, anyone can file a Heggstad petition. This rule is intended for cases when the decedent wants items included in the trust, but forgets to clear the title of the property. While individuals can still use the full probate process, they do not have to. The main requirement for a Heggstad petition is intent. All that matters is that the decedent wanted to include the assets in the trust. It does not matter whether they actually did. This proof could be in the form of written intent, or the decedent could have listed their intent in the schedule of assets.
Do You Have a Heggstad Case?
Before we can file the petition, we have to review all of the documents of the case. You do not want to go through with a Heggstad petition unless it will actually benefit you. Due to this, we take extra time to analyze all of the documentation. Once this is done, we will discuss your chances of successfully filing a Heggstad petition. If there are other options available, we will let you know about your possible choices. If a Heggstad petition is your best chance, we will begin to prepare your case.
Preparing for a Heggstad Petition
According to Probate Code 850, a Heggstad petition must give all interested parties a 30-day notice. If you do not give all interested parties notification, then you will not be able to file a Heggstad petition. Most probate courts allow 15-day notice for petitions, so remember that a Heggstad petition takes longer. While normal probate court takes an average of seven months to go through, a judge should read and finish the case within 60 days for a Heggstad petition.
A Heggstad petition is basically a document that asks the courts to include an asset from the deceased individual as a part of the trust. Normally, the property schedule is the main proof of the individual's intent. When the petition is granted, the judge issues an order that declares the asset to be a part of the trust. Afterward, the judge orders the asset to be transferred to the trustee.
Should I Use Probate Court or a Heggstad Petition?
First, you should look at the proof in your case. If you have proof that the deceased person wanted the property to be a part of the trust, you can use a Heggstad Petition. This option allows you to complete the probate process in about two months instead of the normal seven months. Often, this can save clients money because of the shorter amount of time and lower legal fees. Once a Heggstad petition is granted, individuals will be able to sell the assets. To make sure that you do not waste time and money, talk to your lawyer about your options before you go through either process.
Creating and accessing trusts can be complicated. Your loved ones intended the trust to be for their beneficiaries, family members and descendants. Unfortunately, some of the details may be forgotten during the decedent's life. If you have to go through probate court, a lawyer can help guide you through the process. Contact Citadel Law today to find out how we can help you file a Heggstad petition.