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What’s the Difference Between Full and Limited Authority?

Probate letters, such as Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration, are issued by the Los Angeles Probate Court to a Personal Representative or Executor. These letters grant an executor or personal representative the legal authority to administer a decedent’s estate. They determine the power of the Personal Representative or Executor and if they have Full or Limited Authority.  What’s the difference between full and limited authority?

Full Authority (Independent Administration of Estates Act or IAEA). A Full Authority Sale is a more streamlined than Limited Authority.  The sale of real property is allowed without direct court oversight. There are some requirements of the Los Angeles Probate Court which differentiates it from a standard sale. This is typically granted around the second month.

Interview a Los Angeles Probate Real Estate Specialist
This is an critical step as errors are more costly in probate sales. In order to establish the proper list price, the Realtor you hire should provide a detailed marketing plan and a list of relevant properties.  This can occur before you have Full Authority but a Listing Agreement cannot be executed until the Letters Testamentary are issued.

What's the Difference Between Full and Limited Authority

Execute Listing Agreement
After you have selected a Realtor and Letters Testamentary are issued you can execute the listing agreement. Typically occurs around the third month.

List Property in the Multiple Listing Service
Marketing and showings will begin. All offers will be reviewed. Depending on what improvements if any you opt to make, this typically takes place between the third and fourth month.

Open Escrow and Notice of Proposed Action
Once an offer is accepted, escrow will be opened. Certain parties must be notified of the sale via a Notice of Proposed Action.  This Notice of Proposed Action must be provided when dealing with the sale of real property in a probate. The notice must be in writing and sent to interested parties, heirs or beneficiaries, or any person or entity requesting special notice of the probate proceeding. Typically this takes place between the fourth and fifth month.

Close Escrow
After the notice period, the parties can close escrow.

Limited Authority
The sale of real property under Limited Authority requires Court supervision.  Once the papers to open the estate are filed with the Court it typically takes two to four weeks for the Court to issue the Letters of Administration. The time will vary depending on the Court’s workload.

What's the Difference Between Full and Limited Authority

Interview Probate Real Estate Specialist
This is an critical step as errors are more costly in probate sales. In order to establish the proper list price, the Realtor you hire should provide a detailed marketing plan and a list of relevant properties.  This can occur anytime but a Listing Agreement cannot be executed until the Letters of Administration are issued to the Administrator. This grants them the legal authority to act on behalf of the Estate.

Execute Listing Agreement
After you have selected a Realtor and Letters of Administration are issued you can execute the listing agreement. Typically occurs between the fourth and fifth month.

List Property in the Multiple Listing Service
Marketing and showings will begin. All offers will be reviewed. Typically this takes place between the fourth and fifth month.

Open Escrow and Petition for Order Confirming Sale
Once an offer is accepted, the estate’s representative must report the sale and petition the court for confirmation of the sale.  Typically this  is done after the buyer has removed all contingencies, such as investigative and loan contingencies.  The final sales price must be within 90% of the appraised  value as determined by the Probate Referee.

Notice to Interested Parties
After accepting an offer, the estate’s representative must notify certain interested parties prior to the Court Confirmation Hearing.

Court Confirmation
At the hearing, the sale is subject to overbidders who also want to buy the property. They must bring a cashiers check of at least 10% of the min. bid amount. The final sale is made with no contingencies. This typically occurs approximately two months after escrow is opened.

Court Order
After Court Confirmation of the sale, the Court will issue an Order Confirming the Sale and escrow can then close. Although the sale was already confirmed it takes approximately two to four weeks to receive the written order.

As you can see there are differences between full and limited authority.