Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

-Mother and daughter own a commercial property 50/50 in a LLC in Los Angeles County, Calif.

-Mom’s 50% interest therein is detailed in her trust as “trust property” to be distributed to her only daughter (the other 50% owner). Mom passed away in 2013. Daughter is primary successor trustee.

-property never titled under the trust (mom’s 50% interest is specifically listed as her property held in trust, but the title wasn’t changed)

-many “life circumstances” occurred following mom’s death and the transfer of property/LLC from 2 owners to 1 never occurred.

-Retrofit requirements apply to this property, a fact which was not fully confirmed until 2019.

-Mom’s irrevocable trust grants power to delay distribution “for the period of time necessary to ascertain and provide for the payment of any tax claim or other liability, contingent or otherwise, against the trust property”

...can this information be used in any way to avoid property reassessment due to the “change in control” applicable after Mom’s death?

Asked on 10/22/20, 11:52 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Scott Jordan Jordan Law Office

Indirectly. The facts you provide would be needed to obtain a court order transferring the mother's ownership interest into the Trust. At that point, the Trustee can transfer that interest to the daughter who will now own 100% of the building. This is done through a Heggstead Petition with the relevant Probate Court. The property assessment exemption for a transfer between Parent and Child is then used to avoid a tax reassessment.

I suggest you hire a local Probate Attorney for assistance.

Good luck.

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Answered on 10/22/20, 12:01 pm

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