Personal Representatives & Probate Sales in California

Personal Representatives & Probate Sales in CaliforniaAs one of the most experienced surety bond agencies in the California, we at Jurisco help thousands of clients every year when they are seeking a Personal Representative Bond (aka Executor Bond).  Two questions we often receive are, “What is the process for selling real estate under probate?”  And, more specifically, “What is the difference in Personal Representative responsibilities for ‘full authority’ and ‘limited authority’ designations?”  As to the latter question, the main difference is in reporting to the court; but more on this in a minute.  For the former question, well, there are many resources to help with Probate sales of real property.

Article in the San Francisco Chronicle online (full link: here), and on Fox Business online (full link: here), describe the process of a probate sale of real property, including the steps required by the Personal Representative.   The most detailed summary of the probate sale process, however is provided by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) found: here.  The thorough people at CAR answer almost four dozen of the most important questions a Personal Representative or real estate professional need to know before entering into a probate sale.

Remember the second question from above?  “What are the differences between “full” and “limited” authority pertaining to a probate sale?”  The differences are outlined in the Independent Administration Of Estates Act (IAEA).   As described on the CAR website and under the IAEA:

If the court grants only limited authority to the personal representative, he/she has the power to do all acts allowed under the IAEA rules except the power to: (1) sell real property, (2) exchange real property, (3) grant an option to purchase real property; or (4) borrow money with a loan secured by an encumbrance on real property. With limited authority, court supervision is required.

On the other hand, full authority granted under IAEA rules allows the personal representative to sell real property, exchange real property, grant an option to purchase real property, or borrow money with a loan secured by real property at his or her discretion. (Link)

So you can see the primary differences between ‘full’ and ‘limited’ authority are the ability to sell real property without court supervision.  This is an important factor to consider if you are interested in probate sales or if you have been appointed personal representative and the estate you are administering includes real property.

Since this post is dealing with probate sales, many of the Personal Representatives mentioned above would be required to be bonded in order that other beneficiaries of the estate and all creditors will be satisfied that faithful execution of fiduciary responsibilities will be carried out.  If you or your clients have any questions regarding Personal Representative Bonds or probate sales of real estate, contact the surety bond experts at Jurisco and one of their friendly staff will answer all your questions.

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