April 4, 2012
Dear Liza: My 90 yr. old mother recently died and I inherited her home, her only significant asset. I am preparing the Affidavit-Death of Trustee. Does this put the title to the house in my name or do I also need a Quitclaim deed? Do I need to create a new trust of my own or can it be left in the current one as I am a co-trustee? Sorry to hear about your Mom. You are now engaging in what’s called “Trust Administration.” The Affidavit Death of Trustee says that you are now the successor Trustee of your mother’s trust. (That means you have the legal authority to act under the trust with respect to the real property.) The next step for you is to then record a Trustee’s Deed transferring the property from that trust to yourself as an individual. (That gets the house to you outright and free of her trust.) If you want to set up a living trust, do that. Then you’ll transfer the house from your own name to yourself, as Trustee of the new trust by recording a Trust Transfer Deed. You can’t just leave the house in your mother’s trust, because now that she’s died, that trust is irrevocable and can’t be amended or changed. Also, as Trustee, you’re just the manager of the assets, not the owner. You can use Nolo’s resources to create your own trust or work with an estate planner, that’s up to you.