Part II - General Assignment Effectively Transfers Unintentionally Omitted Shares of Stocks to Trust

To continue our blog on Kucker v. Kucker ((2011) 192 Cal.App.4th 90), Megan Kucker and Bonnie Alexander (trustees, plaintiffs and appellants, respondent) appealed the probate court's order denying their Heggstad petition. The appellants claimed that the probate court erroneously concluded that Mona Berkowitz's (Trustor) general assignment was ineffective to convey ownership of the assets into the Trust. The probate court's denial of the appellants' Heggstad petition was based on Civil Code section 1624, subdivision (a)(7) that requires a writing specifically describing the property for transfer of assets in excess of $100,000.

The California Court of Appeal reversed the probate court's ruling stating that Civil Code section 1624 cannot be construed as applying to the transfer of shares of stock to a Trust as the statute's plain meaning shows a legislative intent to limit the application to agreements to loan money or extend credit made by persons in the lending business. The Court of Appeal further stated that the general assignment was effective in transferring the shares of stock to the trust. However, it shall be noted that a general assignment that does not specifically identify real property would be ineffective in transferring such asset into a trust. Accordingly, one must confirm that all real property is properly titled in the trust, or at the very least, is adequately identified on trust property schedules.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be construed as professional legal advice.

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