Key to avoiding probate of real property and real estate is to file quit claim deeds and affidavits with the County Recorder. Mark W. Bidwell, a California attorney, explains documents needed to fund the trust while living and documents needed to distribute real property on death.
The state of California maintains databases of real property and real estate ownership by county. The owner of record in the county database is final and cannot be disputed. To transfer ownership of real property the owner of record must sign a deed and file the deed with the County Recorder.
The problem occurs when the owner has died and cannot sign a deed. The County Recorder can transfer real property owned by a decedent only by order of a probate judge of the Superior Court of California.
Probate Court can be avoided when real property is owned by an individual’s trust. California law authorizes the County Recorder to transfer property out of the trust owned by an individual who has died by affidavit and deed.
First an “affidavit of death of trustee” with a death certificate attached is filed with the County Recorder. An affidavit is a sworn statement administered by a notary public that the facts stated in the affidavit are true. The notary does not have to verify the facts stated in the affidavit. The notary does have to verify the identity of the person and document the swearing.
The affidavit states who died; details on the prior recording to fund the trust and most importantly, who is authorized under the terms of trust to sign and record documents with the County Recorder. The affidavit is recorded with the County. As a result a new person steps into the decedent’s shoes and can act on behalf of the decedent.
The second step is to transfer the real property out of the trust and to the beneficiaries of the trust. This transfer is done by a “quit claim deed.” Beneficiaries are individuals named in the trust who are to receive the property of the trust. A quit claim deed transfers ownership “as is” with no warranties of title or debt.
Probate is a court action with all the safeguards, protection and red tape that comes with public adjudication. A trust is a private action between individuals with little government over site or protection. As a result trust transfers of real property are more efficient.
Probate takes about one year, cost thousands of dollars and is open to the public. Trust administration takes about one month, costs hundreds of dollars and is private. But to avoid probate the real property must be transferred into the trust while the owner is living.
Deed and Record is an online service to prepare quit claim deeds and affidavit of death of trustee for real property transfers into or out of trusts. The Internet Service records deeds and affidavits death of trustee it has prepared with the County Recorder. Deed and Record does not offer legal advice or services.
Deed and Record markets through websites, primarily, DeedAndRecord.com. The owner of the websites is Mark W. Bidwell, Attorney at Law and CPA Inactive. Office is located at 18831 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 270, Irvine, California 92612. Phone number is 949-474-0961. Email is Mark@DeedandRecord.com.