How do I sell a property in probate in California?
If you are searching for information on “How To Sell A Property In Probate” in CA, or anywhere for that matter quickly, the best approach is getting an IAEA approved sale. (Remember, we’re not giving legal advice. You should consult a competent local attorney.) This approach gives you the most freedom to choose how you’d like to sell the property. Often times, the court will significantly slow the process down if you do not get the sale IAEA approved.
What is the Independent Administration of Estates Act (IAEA)? Why is it important if I want to sell a property in probate in California quickly?
Abbreviated as IAEA, these set of laws allow a personal representative to administer some, or most of the estate of a decedent. The act was created to streamline the probate sale process, helping to settle the estates faster and to help sell a property in probate faster. Any personal representative may apply for court granted authority to sell the estate without having to go through the usual long, drawn out process of court approvals. This is generally done when the probate proceedings are initiated, but can be done at any time. (Cal. Prob. Code Section 10400 et seq.). If the court awards authority through what is called Letters of Testamentary, some steps may change to the probate process. At this point, the court will relinquish most or all of the supervision of the sale.
What is the difference between limited authority and full authority? Will this affect how I can sell a property in probate or inherited property?
If granted limited authority, you can conduct most actions without court approval. You cannot sell or option real estate without court supervision with limited authority. You also cannot exchange, or borrow money against a property without court supervision with limited authority.
If you have full authority, then court supervision is only required if the personal representative or estate attorney is the principal buying the real estate, or if an objection is made to the Notice of Proposed Action (to sell the real estate). (Cal. Prob. Code Section 10501(a)).
Does the court decide price and terms when real estate is being sold under the IAEA in CA?
No. Under full IAEA authority, as an administrator, you do not need to gain approval from the court. The sale may be for cash or on terms.
Is the administrator or personal representative supposed to inform the heirs of the sale? If so, how do they property notify the parties?
Yes. The personal representative must file a “Notice of Purposed Action” to inform the heirs. The personal representative must notify the following people of the sale unless they’ve provided written consent to the sale.
- Everyone named in the will
- Each heir entitled by law to part of the estate
- The Attorney General if part or all of the property is going to the state
- Other parties such as creditors or people with beneficial interest of a trust
How to notify the appropriate parties:
1. Complete the “Notice of Proposed Action” form. You can obtain these by going to the court and asking for the form, or more conveniently, downloading one online. Just search your local court website and they likely have one in PDF form. If they don’t have one online, the court will have one they can mail to you, or the court can print you a copy.
2. Mail or personally deliver the notice with all proper attachments to each person at least 15 days before the date specified in the Notice of Purposed Action.
You cannot mail or deliver the papers yourself – you must have the mailing or delivery done for you by someone else.
The persons who are required to get notice are as follows:
Each devisee (if the decedent had a Will) whose interest in the estate would be affected by the proposed action;
Each heir (if the decedent did not have a Will) whose interest in the estate would be affected by the proposed action;
Each person who has filed a Request for Special Notice; and
The Attorney General, if any part of the estate will escheat to the State of California, and its interest would be affected by the proposed action.
You can also (and it is recommended that you do so, if possible) have each of the persons receiving the Notice of Proposed Action date and sign the “Consent to Proposed Action”.
3. The person who mailed or delivered the Notice should complete a Proof of Service. This is a simple form and can be found readily online.
How can a recipient of the Notice of Proposed Action object to the sale?
Anyone who is required to receive the Notice of Proposed Action can object to the sale by delivering or mailing a notice to the personal representative.
An objecting party can also ask that the court order to restrain the personal representative from the sale without court supervision. The court must grant the request and may do so without notifying the personal representative.
If the personal representative has been granted full authority under the IAEA, must the go through with the sale under these terms?
No. You do not have to administer the estate under these acts. There are advantages to administering the estate under these acts, however. It is usually faster, there are less restrictions and more freedom when administering an estate under these acts.