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How to Probate Real Estate in California & CA Probate Code

Hi, today we talk about How to Probate Real Estate in California. See a need to go to probate court to dispose of some real estate and are unsure of what to do.

About 80% of the probate cases in California involved real estate.

In fact, Superior Court downtown Los Angeles on Hill Street reports about 800 new cases every two weeks. Most people feel overwhelmed by what’s involved in selling real estate through probate and are not even sure where to start.

Well, this article gives you an overview of how to deal with those concerns.

How to Probate Real Estate in California
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Administrative issues

Let’s begin with some administrative issues. You’re not required to hire an attorney. But if you don’t know the process its best to hire a professional.

Attorneys have been trained to handle the complications that often arise even in seemingly simple cases.

CA Probate Civil Code Section 10810 & 10811

Now calculating attorney fees for formal probate is straight forward and can be found in California’s probate civil code sections 10810 and 10811.

All probate cases are handled by the Superior Court in the county where the decedent lived at the time of his or her death.

If the decedent was not a California resident. The county where the decedent’s real property is located will handle the case.

Any air can begin the probate process but the court will appoint the estate’s representative.

Either the executor or executrix named in the will or an administrator if no will exists or the individual named in the will cannot or will not serve.

Estate’s Representative

To be appointed the estate’s representative you must typically post a bond equal to the value of the estate. Unless a bond is waived in the decedent’s will.

You can also request the bond be waived if the beneficiaries are all adults in an agreement about the disposition of the estate.

However, even in those cases, the court may require a bond if it feels there’s a need.

Petition For Probate (Form DE-111)

The probate process begins with the filing of a petition for probate form de 111. Along with a notification of the petition in the local newspaper.

The form is fairly self-explanatory but if you’re representing yourself you need to type in petitioner in proper after the words attorney for in the top box.

Although there’s no specific time frame for filing a petition if you’re the executor or executrix named in the will you must file the petition and the will within 30 days of your learning of the death.

Or you may be found to have waived your right to be appointed the estate’s representative.

Dealing with Real Estate

There’s another section at the top of the form that’s of great importance when it comes to dealing with real estate.

In the petition for the section, you can request to act independently of the court’s oversight for matters relating to the estate.

This can help simplify things greatly. If you lack this authority the court will schedule a hearing for any proposed real estate sale.

At this hearing, the estate’s representative will request approval of the sale to the successful bidder. But any person in attendance at the hearing may outbid that offer based on an overbid calculation set forth in the probate code.

Choose your own real estate agent

The highest qualified bidder will get the court’s approval and will be the final buyer.

You’re also free to choose your own real estate agent to market and sell the property. However, use caution in this area.

The agent you should definitely have a working knowledge of the probate process.

Most agents who handle probate sales do not market directly to beneficiaries as they’re sensitive to the effects of the current stress people are under at this specific time in their lives.

Other than making sure they understand the probate process there are no clear-cut guidelines that would help you pick a good probate real estate agent.

It’s kind of like trying to explain beauty. You may not be able to define it but you know it when you see it. The same thing goes for picking an agent.

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