Issue has arisen whether house was in trust


Mom died 2 years ago with a trust and a will. In both my sister and I are trustees/personal reps. Both state that Mom's OR house went to my sis and WA house to me. No one is contesting, but I can't get the property transferred in WA. Someone said it looks like, while the trust SAYS the WAS house goes to me, it was not "placed in the trust" so now we have to probate. But the OTHER house, inherited my sis, was documented the same way and has already been re-sold!

"My" house is the only remaining asset of the estate. I'd like to avoid probate. Must I transfer ownership? I don't plan to sell. Should I "go after" Mom's lawyer for answers. She obviously THOUGHT the property was in "trust". The family had many conversations about it over the last 2 decades!


Hi, unfortunately this is a common problem with living trusts. Not only do you need the trust document but also have to "fund" the trust with the assets that are to be distributed to it. So, assets to be included in a trust need to be transferred into the trust, normally by changing the way they are titled.

We have an article about this at

how to fund a living trust.

Of course I don't know how any of the assets you are talking about were titled so I can't comment on whether they were or weren't in the trust. But, that is the issue. To further complicate matters different states have different trust and titling requirements. You should certainly discuss this with the lawyer who wrote the trust to see whether the house was ever transferred to the trust. After that you may want to talk to a trust attorney in Washington as well. But, I'd say to start with your mom's lawyer.

Good luck. I'll post your question and my answer on the site to help others. I won't use your name.

All the best,


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