One of the primary purposes for many trusts is to keep real property from going through probate. This keeps the beneficiaries of the trust from having to wait for the court to allow distributions and close the estate. The only restrictions to its access would come from within the trust itself if you decide to put conditions on the receipt of the real property.
If you fail to properly transfer the property into your trust and do not have a will, the state of California decides who gets it. If you own real property in another state, it will also need to go through probate in that state unless you put it into your trust.
Is it as simple as signing a quit claim deed?
When transferring a piece of real estate into your trust, you will probably need to do more than just sign a deed. You may need to go through one or more of the steps listed below in order to make sure no legal impediments exist to the trust owning the property:
- You will need a deed properly prepared and executed.
- You may need to obtain approval from your mortgage lender and the condominium or homeowners association to put the property into the name of your trust.
- You will need to record the deed in the appropriate county in accordance with the current rules and laws governing these records.
Something that could make the funding process easier on you is a certificate or memorandum of trust. As you transfer your assets into the name of your trust, government agencies, creditors and possibly others will want proof that your trust actually exists. The problem is that you more than likely don't want everyone knowing the contents of your trust. A certificate or memorandum of trust provides the necessary proof without revealing the contents of the full document.
One part of funding your trust that you certainly do not want to get wrong is putting your real property into its name. You should expect the attorney helping you develop your estate plan to provide you with a trust certification and the deeds you need to put your real property in the name of your trust. If you have any questions regarding what to put into your trust and how to do it, an attorney can answer them.