Mother had a revocable trust but when she signed the documents the actual trust doc signature page was missed. She did sign all other documents including the certification of trust. She has passed. Is there a way to show intent was to sign the trust and notary just missed it?
4 Answers from Attorneys
Yes, you would need to file a Hegstead Petition and have the Judge approve the Trust.
Seek the assistance of an estate planning probate lawyer, to file a petition into court to have the trust validated by the court, as all the other actions of your mother indicate her intent to execute a trust. The lawyer you choose, should be able to accomplish this by a Heggstad Petition procedure; this is lawyers language based on a case called Heggstad, which goes to the very issue of settlor's, your mother's intent, as to what she intnded to do, in this case sign the trust.
I would file a petition to the court for instructions under Probate Code Section 17200 to set forth the problems and obtain a court order that the trust was effective. It sounds like her signature was notarized, but not actually affixed. Seems your notary has a problem also.
Without a court order, it is unlikely that the trust instrument will be accepted by financial institutions.
We would need more information as to what assets were in the trust or estate to provide you a definitive recommendation. You clearly need probate and estate planning counsel.
This gratuitous response does not create an attorney client relationship. The advice provided herein is generic, may not apply to your circumstances and is not to be relied upon in your actions. An attorney client relationship is created only upon execution of an engagement letter hiring me or my firm.
If, and only if, all the beneficiaries agree about everything, and if all the major assets were titled in your mother's name as trustee at the time of her death, the successor trustee might be able to administer the trust estate without a court order, using a Certification of Trust (not the one your mother signed- this would be signed by the successor trustee.) The financial institutions are not entitled to see the whole document, but they could ask for the signature page, in which case the other attorneys' advice is good. (and, same disclaimer as Mr. Christian's!)