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Inherited Properties

Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES)

What exactly is a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist? Glad you asked! 

If you find yourself responsible to manage a probate or trust sale Broker Beth Moran has been selling real estate since 1999 and knows how to guide you through the process. As a Certified Probate Specialist Beth understands the complexities of a probate settlement or trust sale in California and will provide an outline so you feel confident that you are meeting expectations to complete your transaction. The difference between a probate and a trust is defined by the courts. A probate action is done by the court to determine how to best settle an estate where there has not been a will to direct the distribution of assets. A trust is a document that has recorded the will of the deceased and requires an executor or representative to handle the specifics outlined in the trust. When you are ready call Beth to schedule a time to preview the home and get started with the next step in your particular sale.

Articles – Good topics for articles include anything related to your company – recent changes to operations, the latest company softball game – or the industry you’re in. General business trends (think national and even international) are great article fodder, too.

Real estate is a highly profitable and emotional industry and can be challenging, so choosing your broker can mean the difference between a highly successful sale and going to court over a dispute. As a fiduciary, brokers are called upon to represent all parties to the utmost integrity of the law and Beth Moran has made that her mission since 1999.  Her experience in mediation and dispute resolution, her architectural training and her practical construction knowledge assures clients that Beth has their interests in the forefront of their sale.

Executive profiles – A company is only as strong as its executive leadership. This is a good place to show off who’s occupying the corner offices. Write a nice bio about each executive that includes what they do, how long they’ve been at it, and what got them to where they are.


Probate Terms





The individual or corporation who legally has

charge of the care and management of the person,

property, or both of an adult who is unable to

provide for his own personal needs or who is

substantially unable to manage his financial affairs.

Limited conservatorships may be established for

developmentally disabled adults.

Contingent Beneficiary

One to whom distribution is dependent upon the

occurrence of an event.


A written statement made under penalty of perjury.

Devisees and Legatees

Persons named by a decedent in his will. A bequest

or devise generally refers to real property and a

legacy of money or personal property.


A refusal to accept, for example, a testamentary gift

that is made in a prescribed manner and time.


The specific location of a person’s permanent

residence that determines, for many purposes, the

laws that will govern his affairs. A person may have

many residences, but he can have only one domicile.

The domiciliary proceeding is that created in the

jurisdiction of the decedent’s domicile.


A person who receives a gift from another.


A person who makes a gift to another.


The term which describes the reversion of property

to the state in the event a person dies leaving no

valid will and no heirs at law surviving him.

Estate Taxes – Federal

The death taxes imposed the federal government

on the transfer of assets upon death.


The individual or corporation appointed in a will by

a testator to take care of the testator’s property after

his death. Also called a personal representative.

Ex Parte

A judicial proceeding granted without notice.


A person charged with a high degree of care who

acts on behalf of another. Executors and trustees

are fiduciaries.


The individual or corporation who makes a

grant (transfer) of property to another person

(e.g., grantor of a trust, grantor of a deed of



The individual or corporation who legally has

charge of the care and management of the

person, property, or both, of a child during his



The person who inherits property under state law.

Inheritance Taxes

The taxes imposed, according to the

relationship to the decedent, on the person who

receives the property.


Refers to someone who dies leaving no will.

Inter Vivos Trust

A trust created “between the living.” The grantor

(trustor) is a living person. An inter vivos trust can

be either revocable or irrevocable.

Irrevocable Trust

A trust whose terms and provisions cannot be

changed, modified, altered, amended, or revoked.

Joint Tenancy

A form of property ownership by two or more

persons, often designated as “joint tenants with

right of survivorship.” Joint tenants always own

equal parts of joint tenancy property. When a

joint tenant dies, his or her interest in the property

automatically goes to the surviving joint tenant.

Life Estate

An interest in property, the term of which is

measured by the life of its owner.

Life Tenant

The person who receives the benefits from the real

or personal property during his lifetime only. The

benefits stop when he dies.


A person who is under the age of legal competence.

Personal Representative

This term describes an executor or administrator.

Power of Appointment

The actual power of legal authority given by

the trust or will of one person, the “donor” of the

power, to a second person, the “done” of the power,

which enables the second person to designate the

manner of disposing of the property. A power of

appointment may be general or special, as defined


General Power

Enables the donee to designate himself, his

creditors, his estate, the creditors of his estate, or

any other person, as owner of the subject property.

Special Power

Limits the done as to the persons to whom he can

designate as owners of the property over which

he has a power of appointment. The limitation of

appointment can be very specific (e.g., to a group

consisting only of A’s children) but can never be

the done, his estate his creditors, or the creditors of

his estate because this would defeat the purpose of

the special power, namely, to keep the appointive

property from being taxed in the estate of the done

on his death.

Pour-over will

A will that provides for the transfer, after or during

the probate court proceedings, of all or part of the

net assets of a decedent’s probate estate from the

executor’s control to the control of a trustee who is in

charge of a trust that was in existence immediately

before the death of the deceased person (inter

vivos trust).

Pretermitted Heir

One who would normally be beneficiary of the

decedent but who is not mentioned in the will.

Probate Administration

The legal process whereby a probate court

supervises the marshalling of a deceased person’s

debts and taxes and orders the property distributed

according to decedent’s will, or in its absence, to

the deceased person’s heirs. The probate court has

jurisdiction over the personal representative and

the decedent’s assets.

Quasi-community Property

In California only, that property acquired by a

decedent while living outside California, which, if

acquired in California, would have been community

property. For federal estate tax purposes, quasicommunity

property is treated like separate


Real Property

An interest in land or property permanently affixed

to land.

Remainder Interest

An ownership interest in property that will become

a present interest after the present owner or life

tenant has received all the property benefits to

which he is entitled.


The remaining part of a decedent’s estate after

the payments of debts and legacies. Also called

“residuary estate.”

Residuary Beneficiary

One to whom all or part of the residue is distributed.

Reversionary Interest

An ownership interest in property that returns to

the original owner when the intervening interest


Revocable Trust

A trust whose terms and provisions can be changed,

modified, altered, amended, or revoked.

Right of Representation

A method of distribution, sometimes referred to as

“per stirpes,” whereby the share of distribution of a

deceased beneficiary is divided equally among his


Separate Property

In California, a category of property between

husband and wife that is not community property

or quasi-community property, but that is owned

separately by the husband or wife.


Another word for grantor or trustor of a trust. The

person who “settles” the assets into the trust.

Tenancy In Common

A form of holding title to real or personal property

by two or more persons. Because there is no right

of survivorship, the legal relationships and results

are very different from joint tenancy. Tenants in

common need not hold equal interest, and on the

death of a tenant in common, his interest will pass

by his will or according to the laws of intestate


Testamentary Trust

The trust that comes into being only as a result of

the death of a person whose will provides for the

creation of the trust after his death, hence, the term

“testamentary.” Once in existence, this trust is



Refers to someone who dies leaving a will.


The person who signs the will that disposes of his

property; testatrix is the female term. It is common

as a convenience to use the term testator for either

a man or a woman.

Totten Trust

A form of revocable trust, usually a bank account,

that allows distribution to the beneficiary upon the

death of the trustee, without the need for probate of

the asset. Example, John Jones as Trustee for Mary



A legal entity established either during a trustor’s

lifetime (inter vivos) or at his death (testamentary).

The trust is governed by the terms set forth in the

trust documents. A trust must have a trustee, a

beneficiary, and a “corpus” or property subjected

to the trust.


The individual or corporation who in a trust has bare

legal title to the assets and has the power given in

the trust to carry out the wishes of the person or

persons (trustor or trustors) who created the trust.

The trustee has a fiduciary obligation to the trust’s

beneficiaries enforceable in court if not carried out.

The trustee is subject to strict regulation. Although

he has legal title for convenience, the beneficial or

equitable title is in fact owned by the beneficiaries.

When there is more than one trustee, the trustees

are called co-trustees.


The person or persons who establish a trust. There

can be more than one trustor.

Uniform Gifts to Minors Act

A law that permits a person (“donor”) to register

stock, bank accounts, or insurance in the name of

another (“custodian”) for the benefit of one who

is at the time a minor (“beneficiary”) without

preparing a formal trust document. In effect, the

trust document has been written into the law. In

so doing, the donor makes an irrevocable gift of

the property to the minor, but the custodian holds,

invests, reinvests, and applies the property for the

benefit of the minor until his majority, at which time

the property is turned over to the beneficiary. This

is a simple, inexpensive way to make small gifts to

a minor.


A document, prepared and executed by a person

with the formality required by the laws of the state of

his domicile at the time, which is intended to govern

and direct the disposition of his estate and settlement

of his legal affairs at the time of his death and which

has no legal effect until his death. If the document is

entirely in the person’s own handwriting, it is called

a “holographic will.” If a will is typed, it is called a

“witnessed will” because the signing of it generally

requires two or more witnesses to testify later, if

necessary, that the execution was not procured by

fraud, duress, or misrepresentation.