What is a Heggstad petition?

In Estate of Heggstad (16 CA4th 943), the court held that a written declaration of trust by the owner of real property indicating an intent to include the property in the trust was sufficient to fund the property into the trust. This can be extremely helpful to your beneficiaries after you pass away if for some reason your real property got taken out of your trust prior to your death.

Despite the fact that a full probate administration may be avoided by use of a so-called "Heggstad" petition, title companies require a court order confirming that title is properly held by the decedent's trust. Therefore, it is still important that the proper steps be taken to transfer one's real property to his or her trust to ensure an efficient and effective trust administration process.

Since the Heggstad opinion by the court, California courts have continued to honor a Trustor's intention to transfer real property to his or her revocable living trust.