about probate in California

Probate is required to “prove the will” of a deceased persons, even if there is no actual will in place.  The Probate court will identify all possible living heirs and claimants, and after the determination and sale of all assets, distribute the proceeds.  

The Personal Representative is appointed as either the Executor/Executrix if there is a will, or as the Administrator if there is no will after they have petitioned the court do act in this capacity. 

The Personal Representative will then be given either Limited or Full Authority to administer the estate of the decedent, and has many duties, which include gathering a list of all assets and liquidating them into an estate bank account.  

Once the final accounting is completed by the Probate Referee, the court will order the disposition of the assets, first to claimants, such as lenders, and then to other servicers, such as the attorney, and finally the remainder is divided up and distributed to the heirs.

The most common question I get when someone is faced with managing the estate of a loved one who passed is, “How Much Does it Cost?” Well, it depends on many factors of your unique situation, including the rules of the state.

Each state has different rules and regulations for Probate, and California has one of the most complex Civil Codes for Probate. With that complexity comes a cost, but there are ways to keep your Probate Administration costs low.  Here is a list of some of the fees to expect with Probate:

  • Up Front Costs
  • Probate Referee Fee
  • Attorney Fees
  • Personal Administrator Fees
  • Estate Taxes

If you need to sell personal property in addition to probate real estate, my service has resources and strategies to help you maximize the net proceeds so the estate can curb some of these costs.  And if you need a loan to help with some of the up-front costs, my team can help with that too!

Why Choose
a Certified Probate & Trust Specialist?

Probate is a complicated process and requires that Executors and Administrators have the expert resource in place to facilitate the process. The court wants to ensure that the probate real estate transactions are handled by those who have the expertise to navigate all aspects of the probate timeline, have a comprehensive understanding of CA Civ. Code, and are prepared to implement unique strategies for the most complex of situations.   

It is for these reasons why you should choose a Certified Probate & Trust Specialist, Certified by the California Association of Realtors®, and who upholds the National Association of Realtors® ethical standards, that include transparency, honesty, and integrity.

As a Certified Probate and Trust Specialist, I understand the complications, process, and best practices necessary to navigate the probate transaction to completion and help the estate realize the highest possible proceeds for the benefit of its heirs. I first do a detailed assessment of your situation, complete a unique analysis and present to you my strategic plan, walk you through the process step-by-step, and help you understand your options so you can make informed decisions as the Executor or Administrator, and ensure you are fulfilling your duties to the estate.

It all begins with you and I having a conversation to help ease your stress and overwhelm, and establish our relationship to give you all the support you will need.

I’m Nina Grayson, The CA Probate Expert and a Certified Probate & Trust Specialist.


Let's talk!