As stated in my last post a Heggstad petition is simply a petition to show the decedent’s intent for their assets to be in a trust. Or, as some say it, to be held in trust. The Heggstad case established the principle that an asset listed on the schedule of assets, attached to a trust, is a showing of that intent. What else?
How about a mention in the trust? That usually works. For example, “I give my house, located at 1234 Main Street, to my niece.” Well, if you mention the house in the trust you clearly intended for it to be in the trust.
How about the signing of a deed that was never recorded? Likewise, intent is clear.
What about some external writing that specifically mentions the asset is in a trust? Yes, I think that’s good but it starts to become a tougher case.
What about a generic written document, like a “general transfer” that says all future assets acquired should be in the trust? That works for personal property in most courts. However, it will only work with real property in some courts.
Lastly, what about a property that was in trust and then removed for any reason? We are on the slippery slope now. We will answer this one in our next post!
Contact me with your Heggstad questions and how we can help you avoid a full probate by getting assets into a trust after death. -John