3535 ROSS AVENUE, STE. 200
SAN JOSE, CA 95124
408-247-0444 / [email protected]

Hello. I’m California estate planning attorney Robert P. Bergman, Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law (State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization).  I’ve been practicing in Santa Clara County since 1980, and my law practice is devoted exclusively to estate planning.  My main website is at www.lawbob.com

This website is dedicated to providing information on the services I offer families, title companies, and other attorneys to deal with various issues involving trusts, working through the appropriate court system.  

Heggstad court petition services are available to the general public, attorneys and their clients, title companies, realtors, etc. throughout the State of California.  Typically, the county where the trustee of the trust lives and is handling trust administration is the appropriate county to bring one of these petitions.   I deal primarily with Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Contra Costa County.  However, please note I still may still be able to assist you in Santa Clara County if the trust is being administered in another county in California.


Both living trusts and irrevocable trusts are often unfunded during a Decedent’s (i.e. deceased person’s) lifetime, or trust property is removed from the trust (e.g. for a refinance of a parcel of real property) and not moved back into trust ownership.  Newly acquired real estate, bank and brokerage accounts, and other assets are often titled in the Decedent’s individual name instead of the trust name.   The Decedent may have intended the property to be in the trust, but for whatever reason the property not in trust ownership when the decedent dies.

All of the above situations (and it’s not an exclusive list) will trigger the need for some kind of Probate Court action in order to get the Decedent’s property into the trust for ultimate distribution according to its terms. In the past, this was accomplished by using a Pour-over Will that directed such property to be turned over to a Decedent’s trust, using a full Probate procedure.

I created “Heggstad Help” as a service to assist with the following:

  • Successor trustees of trusts who discover that assets of a living or deceased Settlor or Trustor (i.e. creators of the trust) are not properly titled in the trust ownership even though intended by the Settlor;

  • Estate planning attorneys and their clients who make the same discovery when clients want to redo their estate plans;

  • Local real estate brokers who make the same discovery for property just listed when a preliminary title report discloses that a new listing is not properly titled in the ownership of a trust; and

  • Local title companies that make the same discovery when a preliminary title report discloses the defect in the title, but nobody knows how to correct the defect.

  • In all of the above cases, interested parties may wish to pursue ex parte Heggstad petitions under Probate Code Section 850 through an eligible Probate Court. An ex parte petition is one that is done without a formal hearing date, and without waiting months for a Court date.   In some cases, only noticed hearings are available for these petitions.

Contact me if you believe that my services could help you, a client, or a customer with their Heggstad petition needs.  To determine whether or not I can assist you, use this link to book a short Zoom or in office consultation with me:

Book a Trust Petition Consultation by Zoom meeting

Book a Heggstad Trust Petition Consultation in my Office in San Jose

After booking, please then download the following  paperwork, and complete and return to me by email  at [email protected]  or fax to 408-415-4591/ Please also make sure to provide copies of any documents requested in the Worksheet as well: