San Leandro, CA asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California

Q: If my mom died and in her will left me the house how do go about legally getting the deed and house

Clearlake not San Lorendro

3 Lawyer Answers
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Carlsbad, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If she left it in a Will then you have to go through the Probate Court and get the court to order the new deed.

If she used a Trust then you could skip that step.

Nina Whitehurst and Gerald Barry Dorfman agree with this answer

D. Steven Yahnian
D. Steven Yahnian
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Visalia, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Generally, the executor named in the will, will have to file a probate with the Superior Court of the county that your mother lived in when she died. Pursuant to that, there would be a hearing appointing the executor after notice to certain persons. Soon thereafter, the executor would file an inventory and appraisal of all probate assets with the court. The executor also has to send notice to the Medi-Cal office in Sacramento notifying them of the death and letting them know that if your mother was receiving medi-cal assistance at her death, they can file a claim for recovery, subject to certain exceptions. Then, if all goes well, and there are no creditor's claims (watch out for California Medi-Cal recovery claim if your mother was receiving Medi-Cal when she died), and also if the property is not sold by the executor during the probate (with notice to the will beneficiaries, heirs, etc), the executor would thereafter file a petition to close the estate and obtain the Judges ruling as to who the property would go to (presumably you based on your facts). That court order is then certified by the court clerk at the request of the executor, and then recorded with the county recorder. That recording of the certified court order works as the 'deed' to the property putting it in your name. There is no separate deed under these circumstances.

I strongly recommend that the executor retain a probate attorney to handle this matter rather than trying to do it themselves. It is not as easy as it may look and Probate judges tend to be sticklers.

Julie King and Nina Whitehurst agree with this answer

Julie King
Julie King
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The law in California is that people who have certain assets with a total value of $166,250 or more have three choices: (1) sign a Will and, after their death, their heirs must go through a year-long court process called probate before inheriting their assets; (2) sign a trust and, after their death, their appointed person [called a trustee] can distribute their assets WITHOUT any court being involved; or (3) do no estate planning and, after death, their heirs go through probate.

Since your mother had real estate, if it is worth more than $166,250 [likely!], then you have to go through probate. If you aren’t familiar with the court process, find a probate attorney to assist you. By law, probate lawyers are paid a percentage of the estate at the conclusion of probate. Best wishes.

D. Steven Yahnian agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.