Los Angeles, CA asked in Probate for California

Q: What is the correct title for an 850 petition, and how much detail should I go into for the court?

In 2009, my grandmother paid a real estate broker (referred by a church member) draw up a revocable living trust for her house (it's listed in exhibit A of the trust), he didn't tell her she needed a quitclaim deed. She died 2/11/18 not realizing this was an issue. My Aunt is successor trustee and only living child. There is no money for a lawyer, so I'm helping her file an 850 petition.

1. is "Petition for Order of Conveyance" a proper title?

2. My grandmother was a seamstress with a 4th grade education, she trusted the individual who drew up the Trust and thought everything was taken care of once she had it recorded. I'm worried the Judge will look at the time between the Trust filing (2009) and her death, and question the intent to convey the property. Petition states that she died without putting the property in the Trust, should I go into greater detail re: the Trust creation, her naïveté and blind trust in the guy who drew it up?

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3 Lawyer Answers
John B. Palley
John B. Palley
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Roseville, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I title it: PETITION TO CONFIRM ASSETS TO TRUST (PROBATE CODE 850)

I do not think your timeline will be a problem.

Make sure you file it in the county of principle trust administration which is usually where the trustees lives or works.

Good luck. -John

Sheri Lynn Hoffman agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Bruce Adrian Last
Bruce Adrian Last
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Pleasant Hill, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Dear Los Angeles:

The court will not should not care about the time between the creation of the Trust and the date of death. They will care that their was an intent to transfer the home into the Trust. If the trust has incorporation language, for example "All property listed on Exhibit A is trust property" and the home is listed on exhibit A, there should n not be an issue.

I wanted to also point out that your Mother's friend who is a real estate broker is not authorized to draft and advised on trusts unless the broker is also a licensed attorney in California, even if they were not paid for the service. The broker's actions potentially constitute "unauthorized practice of law." Which means you may be able to have the broker pay the costs of correcting the error.

I do not bring this up to ensure "full employment for lawyers." Rather, I see too much money and time wasted by non-lawyers performing legal work. And, I always wonder how many other people the non-lawyer has created defective estate plan for. You may wish to consider, at the very least, reporting the broker to the California State Bar and the California Department of Real Estate.

As to the ability to pay for a lawyer, a simple 850 Petition is not a very expensive representation, and some lawyers may take this on a limited scope basis, further reducing cost. (They do the drafting, you go to court.) Or, depending on circumstances, may allow you to pay when the property is sold or set up a payment plan.

I'd check out your local county bar association's attorney referral program and ask if they have an attorney who can assist you.

Best of luck.

Bill Sweeney agrees with this answer

David L. Crockett
David L. Crockett
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Sorry to hear about your situation. The proper title would be " PETITION FOR DETERMINATION OF TRUST ASSETS

[P.C. §17200]". I just did one in the Orange County Superior court and it was successful. It could also be referred to as an 850 petition. Also, I was able to get an earlier court date than the court first assigned so that we could get a court order determining that the property was in the trust so that the trustee could sell it. Doing a petition such as this avoids probate but these petitions can involve various court appearances and filings.

You might save a lot of time having an experienced lawyer handle this. If the house in question is to be sold some lawyers would wait to get paid out of the house sale proceeds.

The petition has to state the proper facts in the proper legal terminology to get it through the court system. To answer your question, probably the more detail you put in it the better but also if it is not done correctly it could be denied and/or after up to a year of back and forth with the court the petition could be denied and then you would be having to do a probate which could take up to a year. Good luck with this.

David L Crockett, attorney/CPA/broker/Martindale Hubble preeminent rating.

Bill Sweeney agrees with this answer

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