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Los Angeles Probate Sales – A Simple Guide

Los Angeles Probate Sales

Los Angeles Probate Sales a Simple Guide

Los Angeles Probate sales involve the handling of an estate when someone, such as a family member or other loved one, passes. Probate ensures that any outstanding creditors are paid and assets properly distributed to heirs and descendants.

Probate real estate is complex and that is why it’s wise to hire a real estate expert experienced in probate sales. The legal process begins with a “petition” (request) to open the estate and formally name a personal representative who is responsible for the administration of the deceased’s property. An Official Notice of Creditors is printed in a local newspaper and a Notice of Administration is sent to other involved parties. Creditors then have a set amount of time to file their claims based on the date of first publication. The personal representative then pays debts and distributes the remaining estate. Finally, a petition for discharge is filed, and the estate is closed.

Click here to learn why you should hire a Realtor experienced in probate sales

This is a very simple overview of Los Angeles probate sales which are a complex legal process. You should engage the services of a skilled attorney who specializes in Los Angeles probate sales. Upon your attorney’s recommendation, you may also be encouraged to consult with a CPA or tax consultant.

Probate – First 3 Months

  • File original wills and codicils (executor must petition for probate within 30 days or may lose right to be executor)
  • Publish Notice of Petition to Administer Estate (3 times before hearing date, 1st publishing must be at least 15 days prior to hearing)
  • Mail Notice of Petition to Administer Estate (at least 15 days prior to hearing)
  • File proof of publication and proof of mailing “Notice of Petition to Administer Estate”
  • If required, file proof of the will and check calendar notes at least two days before hearing
  • File Order for Probate and if required probate bond

Letters of Administration are issued – at the same time, or after filing an order for probate. Now you are in a position to hire Harb & Co.

Next 4 – 5 Months

  • Apply for Employer Identification Number
  • Notify the Director of Health Services
  • Open Estate Bank account
  • Arrange for the preparation of income tax returns
  • Prepare inventory & appraisals and send to Referee
  • Mail Notice of Administration to creditors, pay debts without requiring formal claims
  • File approval or Rejection of formal Creditor’s Claims
  • File Inventory and Appraisals with court
  • List property for sale with Realtor® who specializes in probate sales and begin to market and sell property
  • File petition for Confirmation of Property Sale, if no IAEA (Independent Administration of Estates Act) Administrator
  • Attend court hearing for overbids when no IAEA Administrator
  • File change in Ownership Statement with county assessor for all real property
  • File federal estate tax return if gross estate evaluates at $675,000 or more

Final Month – Closing Estate

  • File Petition for Final Distribution
  • Mail Notice of Hearing to heirs and beneficiaries
  • File proof of mailing Notice of Hearing
  • File Order for Final Distribution
  • Transfer assets and obtain receipts
  • File Receipts and Affidavit for Final Discharge

Intestate Succession

The following is an attempt to simplify the manner in which separate property is distributed when one dies without a will.

If there is a surviving spouse, but no surviving children, parents, brothers or sisters:

      • All to the surviving spouse

With a surviving spouse, and one surviving child:

      • 1/2 to the surviving spouse
      • 1/2 to child

If there is a surviving spouse and more than one surviving child:

      • 1/3 to the surviving spouse
      • 2/3 to children

If there is not a surviving spouse and no children, but there are parent(s):

      • All to parents

Where there is not a surviving spouse, or children, and no parents:

      • All to siblings

If there is not a surviving spouse, the preferential order of distribution:

    • Children
    • Parents
    • Parent’s children
    • Grandparents
    • Children of grandparents
    • Children of the predeceased spouse
    • Next of kin
    • Parents of the predeceased spouse
    • Children of parents of the predeceased spouse
    • State of California

Los Angeles Probate Trust Sales LA Realtors Specializing



Some probate sales require court confirmation of the sale. At the time of the confirmation hearing, another buyer may overbid the original buyer. Typically overbids are offered at the hearing verbally. At the consummation of the confirmation hearing, the successful over-bidder must execute the bid in writing. Usually, at this time, the buyer must present a 10% deposit.

There is a statutory formula for the first overbid. It is an additional amount equal to 10% or more, on the first $10,000, and 5% on the amount of the original bid in excess of $10,000.

For example:

Original bid = $100,000
First overbid must be 10% of 10,000 = + 1,000
5% of $90,000 = + 4,500

Overbid must be = $105,500

If the court receives an acceptable overbid, the court will ask for any additional overbids. The judge will usually establish minimum increments as to additional overbids. All overbids will be taken into account based on the gross amount (without taking into account any brokerage fees).

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    The above is a simplification of a very complex procedure. Only an attorney can provide legal advice. Find detailed information in Sections 6400-6413 of the California Probate Code.

    Related Post: What is a probate sale

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