If my late grandmother’s home is held in a living Trust but we can’t find a copy of the trust, how do we sell the home?

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If my late grandmother’s home is held in a living Trust but we can’t find a copy of the trust, how do we sell the home?

The house is properly deeded to the trust. We have a Will which makes reference to the Trust. Is it possible to sell the house right away or does the house then have to be included in the probate proceedings?

Asked on January 7, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

Janet Brewer / Law Office of Janet L Brewer

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have a problem.  The house does not need to go through probate if title to the house is in the name of the trust.  But if you can't find the trust, how are you going to know who the beneficiaries of the trust are?

You may have to petition the court for instructions on what to do.  

Perhaps the deed to the house names the lawyer who prepared the trust.  If so, you can write to him/her and find out if s/he has a copy of it.  Then you can go through a court procedure to "prove" the trust.

Good luck.

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