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FAQs of the Personal Representative in Probate

When you hear the word “probate,” like many, you might get flooded with confusing questions and feelings of stress.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We work with Personal Representatives just like you every day. To help, we’ve taken the questions they commonly ask us and answer them in simple, direct ways (without all the legal jargon).

You should feel comfortable and confident in any decisions you make as a Personal Representative. This comes with a bit of background information and expert support.

Here are the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions by Personal Representatives about the probate property sale procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions in Probate

“How long does a typical probate real estate sale take?"

In California, the average probate process takes about 9-12 months to complete. However, in some cases, recent events have affected the filing process, increasing this timeline by a few months.

If you face any exceptional circumstances, it can take up to 2-3 years (i.e., lawsuits, foreclosures, or family conflicts).

“I’m the Personal Representative for the estate. Can I list the property for sale?”

As the Personal Representative, a few requirements must be met before you can sell the estate.
  1. The sale must be needed to pay off any expenses related to the estate –– debts, gifts paid to heirs of the will, family allowances, estate administration fees, etc.
  2. Selling the property must be in the best interest of the deceased and their heirs.
  3. It must be either allowed in the will, or you must be granted authority. 

“Is there a minimum price for selling the property?”

In most cases, yes.
Without full authority under the Independent Administration of Estates Act (IAEA), the accepted offer must be at least 90% of the appraised value.

“What are probate bonds? Do I need one?”

Probate bonds protect the estate and beneficiaries from any errors, hostile actions, or failed duties that you may make as the Personal Representative. If you don’t fulfill your responsibilities, someone can make a claim against you with the bond.

You may be required to post a probate bond. If this is necessary, you will need to put a small percentage down of the bond.

“What do I need to do before the hearing?”

In the state of California, you need to publish both your loved one’s passing and their probate estate in the newspaper 3 times in the location where they lived before your court hearing.

“What fees will I have to pay?”

Besides your attorney fees, you’ll have to pay for the publication, probate referees, and fees for retrieving copies of the court documents. Your probate real estate agent will get paid a commission on the home sale, so you won’t have to worry about that. 

“I’ve been granted full authority. What does that mean?”

Full authority means you can do most things without prior court approval –– including selling your property.

If you want to know more about how to sell a probate property? I’m Josh V, a probate realtor in Los Angeles. Text me today at (213) 465-0936, and we can start making a game plan together.