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How real property is transferred on death of parent or relative depends if the real property is in a trust or not in a trust.
Real property held in a Trust
On death of parent or relative who has a trust, the successor trustee transfers real property to the beneficiaries of the trust without any court supervision. Transfer is by affidavit of death of trustee and deed from trust to heirs. Both documents are submitted to the county recorder.
Real property less than $50,000
California law has a shortcut, or expedited probate procedure for real property less than $50,000 in value known as “Affidavit Real Property of Small Value.” This procedure is primarily available for timeshare estates and land away from the coast.
Real property less than $150,000
On death a parent or relative with an estate less than $150,000 the heirs can obtain ownership of real property with one court order of "Succession to Real Property." Succession avoids lengthy and costly large estate probate administration and save heirs time, money, and stress.
Real property greater than $150,000
Real estate valued greater than $150,000 requires formal probate administration. Probate is the administration under court supervision of a decedent’s estate as directed in his or her Will or by the laws of intestacy. Formal probate requires at a minimum two court hearings, three court orders and one year to complete.
More Informaiton on Options
Affidavit real property of small value less than $50,000
California law has a shortcut, or expedited probate procedure for real property less than $50,000 in value known as “Affidavit Real Property of Small Value.”
This procedure is primarily available for timeshare estates and land away from the coast. The $50,000 exemption can be used even if the decedent owned other real property, provided the other real property did not go through probate.
Requirements are; at least six months have passed from date of death, there is no other probate action and all debts of the decedent have been paid.
Succession to Real Property Valued Less Than $150,000
The opportunity for reduced probate administration procedures and cost is determined by the value of the real property. The value of real property is determined by an independent third party, the probate referee. To determine if real property is eligible for small estate administration an appraisal by a probate referee is needed. A probate referee is a real estate appraiser who is qualified to submit his or her appraisals to the probate court.
Property appraised at less than $150,000 is collected and transferred by court order. A petition is prepared, a hearing date is scheduled and heirs are notified. The client will have legal representation at the hearing. After the hearing the court order is filed with the county recorder. The filed court order allows for a subsequent quit claim deed to change ownership on the public record. The quit claim deed transfers real property from the decedent to the heirs.
Real property held in joint tenancy or a revocable trust is not included in the value of a probate estate. Succession is a good tool to pick up the lots of land, timeshares, vacation homes, and houses in rural areas that were omitted or overlooked in the decedent’s estate planning.
Real property transferred by Will or Intestacy is by Probate. Probate is the administration under court supervision of a decedent’s estate as directed in his or her Will or by the laws of intestacy.
The process requires at a minimum two court hearings and three court orders. We cover Southern California Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego.
We recommend using the Independent Administration of Estates Act (the “IAE Act”), Probate Code §§ 10400 et seq. The act allows for sale of real property without a court order. Saving valuable time.
Major procedures in the probate process are: