Palm Springs, CA asked in Estate Planning for California

Q: Is it possible to leave a house in a trust after the owner of the house passes (in California

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2 Lawyer Answers
Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Oakland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: From your questions, I'm assuming the property was properly funded into a valid trust prior to passing away. If so, I highly recommend reading the relevant trust document provisions to see if there is any particular directive regarding the disposition of this asset. Frankly, it's difficult to comment without reviewing the trust document.

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

A: Once someone dies, the trust becomes unchangeable (irrevocable) simply because the “owner” of the trust is no longer around to change it as the person sees fit. If the trust in your case has an attachment (usually called Schedule “A”) that lists all the person’s assets and that attachment lists the home as an asset the person intended to place in the trust, a motion can be brought in court asking a judge for a court order to place the home in the trust post-death. If the trust does not contain such a schedule, the trust likely cannot be changed to add it, so the deceased person’s loved ones will be required to go through the year-long probate court process in order to transfer ownership of the property to the heirs.

Rebecca Sommer agrees with this answer

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