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So you’ve filed for probate. You’re probably flipping through pages with legal terms and procedures you might not be familiar with.

Today, I wanted to touch on one term you might have heard about recently:

The Probate Referee.

What is it?

I’m going to break down everything you need to know about them. 


What is a Probate Referee?

Probate Referee is a court-appointed appraiser specific to the California probate process whose job is to appraise all property in the estate except for “cash” type items.

It is also their job to:  

  • Perform a drive-by or view the property online to appraise it.
  • Fill out the Inventory and Appraisal form.

What Are Their Fees?

A Probate Referee’s fee is 1/10 of 1% (.001%) of the value of the home.

For example, if they are appraising a home valued at $400,000, their fee would be $400. Probate Referees also charge for expenses such as mileage, mapping, and photos.

The minimum fee in probate matters is $75.00. In trust and other non-probate matters, the fee is negotiable. Here’s a guide to how much the probate process can cost overall.



What is My Role with the Probate Referee?

If you are the Personal Representative or Trustee, it is your job to provide the Probate Referee with the list of property that needs appraising.

The Inventory and Appraisal must be filed with the Court no later than four months after the court issues Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration.

After receipt of the Inventory, the Referee must complete the appraisals within 60 days. In non-probate and trust cases, there is no specific time frame.



How Do They Help Sell the Property?

If you need to sell a probate property, it must be appraised first. You need to have the Probate Referee appraise the property within one year before the date of the confirmation hearing.

It’s also important they appraise your property before it’s put up for sale. Your real estate agent can help guide you before, during, and after this process.


Are Probate Referees Required?

Yes. The State Controller appoints the Probate Referee while the court clerk assigns them to your particular case. There’s a guide to using probate referees. You can download the guide here


What’s My Next Step? 

The appraisal is just the beginning probate property sale process. If you have any more questions about the Probate Referee, listing your property, or anything else in probate, we are here for you. 

Call or text us at (213) 465-0936 to learn more about the probate referee.

Talk to you soon,

Josh V

real estate agent in hollywood