Frequently Asked Questions

Attorney Image By: James Filippi

How To Distribute Land in My Estate Plan?

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There are many questions for families with estates and land in California. Being able to successfully grant that land to your loved ones is not as easy as you may think. At the time of your passing, there are two ways that land can be disbursed to your beneficiaries, depending on how you have your estate documented.

Establishing a Living Trust

If you want to bypass the court proceedings for your loved ones when you pass away, you need to establish a living trust currently with your estate and have all assets listed in this plan. During this process, there is a recording of the grant deed that exists for transfer purposes.
Once the recording of the grant deed is listed, you still own your property, but it is not owned at an individual level. It is now the property of the trust that you have created and there are no changes regarding how you use the property and what you choose to do with it. In fact, you are still required to pay taxes as you would like an individual owner.

What if I Don’t Have a Living Trust?

If a living trust was not established for your property and estate, then your heirs to the estate will have to go through the probate system to have the property transferred over. It will not be an easy transition, especially if they are looking to quickly sell the property and disperse the funds. They would need to wait for the property to migrate through the court system first and then move forward.

Land Disbursement After Your Passing

If you have a living trust in effect when you pass away, the recording of the grant deed listed on the trust will be the legal document that determines how the property is disbursed and how to whom based on your wishes. This document bypasses the tedious process of probate court that exists without a living trust.

Trustee Steps In

Whoever the person was designated as the trustee of the living trust by you will now have the authority to begin making decisions on the property and disbursing it as you requested. They will oversee the legalities regarding the property transfer. This person should be a third party, not a family member or someone receiving a part of the estate.

New Deeds Are Established

Based on who you designate for land, homes, etc., new deeds are drafted, making that person the property owner based on your wishes. If your recipients decide to sell the property, they can do so easily and disperse the sale’s proceeds equally.

Would You Like More Information?

Choosing to establish a living trust gives you a level of flexibility with your assets that you may not have been aware existed. This is critical for those planning to leave property behind as an inheritance. If you are interested in establishing a living trust or want to see if it is right for you, contact us at the Filippi Law Firm, P.C. today. We look forward to meeting you soon.

Satisfied Client Stories


We found the Filippi Law Firm in Yelp and we were so lucky to have found them. Both Jen and Jim were kind and patient, explaining the process and addressing our concerns with a cost we felt was appropriate for the quality of the work. At all times we felt supported in the process and it could not have gone better. If you need this kind of work do yourself a favor and reach out to these folks for help. You won’t regret it.

Ron G. | Sacramento, CA

Jenn helped us with a trust account for my parents. She is very polite and thorough at doing her job she answered every question. My parents had and made them feel very welcome there. If we ever had to use the office again, we would .

Mark L. | California

My experience was perfect.

Arnett D. | Fairfield, CA

Great firm!

Rod S. | California

Very detailed in redoing our trust. I would definitely refer my friends to them.

Peg H. | Citrus Heights, CA

I was referred to Filippi Law Firm from another client, who was very happy with their services. I very thankful for the guidance given, for my “Trustee Role” for my Uncle’s Estate. It went smoothly, from start to finish.

Lillian G. | Lincoln, CA

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