Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

Hello, my father passed away 3 years ago (CA) and I have been battling with the banks for our home mortgage who will not acknowledge my mother as the executor of the estate, since she is not on the loan. I am being told that we need to provide them a letter of administration, but he does not have any assets (besides our home, which we still owe $300k), the house is in a trust, and his will nominates my mother as the executor. Do I still need a letter of administration?? The bank will not budge without this, although I've been told by an attorney that I don't need the letter since we are not fighting for assets. I don't know what else to do, and appreciate the help. Thank you

Asked on 8/24/12, 3:22 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

John Palley Meissner, Joseph & Palley, Inc.
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This is a very common problem. I would think the easiest thing to do would be to file a probate for letters of "special administration." Limit it to communicating with the mortgage company. I recently did this for a client. It's disappointing, since dad hoped to avoid probate, but not much else you can do.

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Answered on 8/24/12, 3:29 pm
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach
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If the house is in a trust, you don't need letters of administration. You need the successor trustee to record an affidavit of successor trustee, and send a copy to the bank.

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Answered on 8/24/12, 9:23 pm
Kurt Seidler Law Offices of Kurt A. Seidler APC
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If the title had not been transferred intonthe trust but the house was listed in the trust as a trust asset you can petition thebprobate court for instructions transferring the title into the trust per what is termed a Heggsted motion.

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Answered on 8/24/12, 9:48 pm
Michele Cusack Pollak & Cusack
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It is not clear from your answer what you want from the bank. They don't have to participate in clearing title. It does not matter who is on the deed of trust, as long as your mom keeps paying the mortgage. How your mom clear title depends, as you can see from Mr. Roach and Mr. Seidler's responses on how title is held now (in the trust or in your father's name individually. If the latter, a petition to confirm trust asset or a probate might be necessary.) Your mom should have an attorney review all the paperwork.

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Answered on 8/27/12, 12:42 pm

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