When the corporation was dissolved the assets remaining after payment of debts were distributed to the shareholders. It is likely that the shareholders were the beneficiaries of your friend's estate, and it is likely that the kids are the beneficiaries. If you really want to settle this debt you should ask the kids to identify the trustee of the trust and executor of the estate (probably the same person). He or she can tell you who inherited the stock and is therefore entitled to repayment...
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Severing the joint tenancy and creating a tenancy in common will not trigger reassessment of the property.
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The phone message has no legal effect. In the absence of a will, your father's estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestate succession. Thus, you will inherit half of the estate and your deceased brother's children will inherit the other half.
You may file dissolution documents with the Secretary of State or just let the corporation "die on the vine." You will not be personally liable for California franchise taxes and penalties incurred by the corporation.
Any portion of a loan secured by real property that is forgiven by the lender can result in "cancellation of debt" income tax liability. There are exceptions under the tax code that apply in the case of cancellation of debt arising out of a loan obtained to purchase the property, but only if the property was used by the borrower as his/her principal residence.
If your trust is revocable (i.e., if you have the power to revoke) the assets held in the trust are subject to your creditors' claims as if there were no trust. Assuming there is a "spendthrift" provision in the trust, your son's creditors cannot reach the trust assets until they are actually distributed to him. Only an irrevocable trust can provide creditor protection. If you have a revocable trust it will become irrevocable at your death. If the trust continues on after your death for the...
I know of no state law under which property can be "automatically" inherited (other than property held in joint ownership with right of survivorship). I believe you will have to pursue a probate case in New Hampshire. Depending on New Hampshire state law and the value of the property, New Hampshire may have an abbreviated form of probate available.