Articles Tagged with Estate Planning Attorney

Many Californians are well-aware of the hassles of going through the probate process, which is why they are usually willing to consider estate planning alternatives that allow them to avoid it. One option you may want to learn more about is the transfer on death (TOD) deed, which is available to qualifying property owners. You should rely on a knowledgeable California estate planning attorney to provide advice tailored to your specific circumstances, but a summary of TOD deeds should be useful.

Overview of the Transfer on Death Deed Statute

The TOD deed is covered under California’s Revocable Transfer on Death Deed statute, which became effective in January 2016 and is temporary in nature. Through January 1, 2021, you can transfer residential real estate to a named beneficiary via a TOD deed without the asset going through the probate process. By executing a TOD deed in accordance with the legal requirements, you enjoy all ownership rights and retain title until your death. Upon that date, ownership transfers to your designated beneficiary by operation of law. Plus, you can revoke it at any time if you so choose.

Q. My father’s home was in his Trust and the home was sold. The money from the sale was deposited into the Trust account. In cleaning out my father’ home, we found a monthly statement for a home loan but did not know the status of the loan. We learned that there was no Deed of Trust recorded on the home Related imagewhich is why nothing showed up on the title search when the home was sold. We have tried to contact the bank to inquire as to the status of this loan and pay any remaining balance. We left messages for numerous managers at the bank but no one returns our calls.  My father died almost a year ago and we want to settle and close the Trust. What should we do?

A. As the Trustee, you are obligated to plan for payment of your father’s debts and obligations, such as income taxes, gift taxes, credit card debts, and mortgage payments. If an estate tax is due, these debts can be deducted for estate tax purposes. But, as Trustee, you are not legally required to notify your father’s creditors of his death.

Conversely, you are required to notify various state agencies that may have claims such as the State Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board, Department of Human Resources Development, Department of Mental Health, Department of Health Care Services and Medi-Cal.

Badge
Badge
Badge
Badge