Before someone can get the benefit of a statute, one needs to be listed or described in some way as a beneficiary of the law in order to take advantage of it.
One law, California Probate Code Section 850(a)(1), can cover a number of interested parties, including, depending on the circumstances, a guardian, conservator or claimant. This section of the law helps parties, such as the guardian of a minor or the conservator of someone mentally incompetent, to engage in various transactions so the people at issue can benefit.
California Probate Code Section 850
The circumstances where one of these people can file a petition include, generally,
- Where a conservatee (a person a court determines cannot handle his/her own affairs is due to physical, mental and/or psychological limitations) is bound by a contract in writing to convey real property or to transfer personal property,
- Where a minor has succeeded to the interest of a person bound by a contract in writing to convey real property or to transfer personal property,
- Where a guardian or conservator (one responsible for a conservatee) or a minor or conservatee is in possession of, or holds title to, real or personal property, and the property or some interest therein is claimed to belong to another, and
- Where a minor or conservatee has a claim to real or personal property title to or possession of which is held by another
How to file a petition under Section 850(a)(2)
A personal representative or interested person can file a petition under Section 850(a)(2) with the court under similar circumstances except the person at issue is deceased, not a minor or conservatee. This could come into play if the decedent failed to actually transfer all of the assets into a trust prior to dying. After death the successor trustee needs to clear title so the property can be sold, re-financed or deeded to the rightful beneficiary. Full probate could be an option but a petition (known as a Heggstad petition) may also work with less time and expense.
A trustee (the person responsible for a trust) or any interested person can file a petition under Section 850(a)(3) when,
- The trustee is in possession of, or holds title to, real or personal property, and the property, or some interest, is claimed to belong to another,
- The trustee has a claim to real or personal property, title to or possession of which is held by another, and
- The property of the trust is claimed to be subject to a creditor of the settlor of the trust.
This statute helps those in positions of helping others to accomplish a number of tasks. If you find yourself in the situation where you are responsible for another person, trust or estate and need help, Section 850 may or may not be able to aid you. Fill out the form on the right so we can talk about it and your options.