An earlier post discussed the California Small Estate Affidavit procedure, whereby personal property assets less than $150,000 could be disposed of without court supervision.
As of January 1, 2012, the California Probate Code was amended to include Real Estate less than $150,000 in the California Small Estate process. This new rule applies to all Estates filed after January 1, 2012, no matter when the Decedent died.
California Probate Code Section 13150 et seq. allows for a Petition to Determine Succession to Real Property (and Personal Property) for Estates of $150,000 or less.
Unlike the California Small Estate Affidavit Procedure, listed in California Probate Code Section 13100 – which is an affidavit-based process that is entirely free of court supervision, the process for Real Estate enumerated in this Section does require Filing a Petition with the Probate Court.
However, the process described in California Probate Code Section 13150 et seq. is NOT a full probate, and is far less expensive and usually far quicker than a full probate.
California Probate Code Section 13150 Requirements
Just like in the California Small Estate Affidavit procedure, a Petitioner under this Section must demonstrate:
- The Gross Value of the decedent’s Real and Personal Property in this California does not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), excluding assets in a Trust – Probate Code Section 13151
- 40 days have elapsed since the death of the Decedent – Probate Code Section 13151
- No proceeding is being or has been conducted in this state for administration of the Decedent’s Estate – Probate Code Section 13150
- The decedent’s Personal Representative consents in writing to use of the procedure provided by this chapter to determine that real property of the decedent is property passing to the petitioners – Probate Code 13150
California Probate Code Section 13150 requires an Inventory and Appraisal
Unlike the the California Small Estate Affidavit procedure, the process set forth in California Probate Code Section 13151 requires a formal Inventory and Appraisal, conducted by a California Probate Referee.
California Probate Code Section 13152(b) states:
There shall be attached to the petition an inventory and appraisal in the form set forth in Section 8802 of the decedent’s real and personal property in this state, excluding the property described in California Probate Code Section 13050. The appraisal shall be made by a probate referee selected by the petitioner from those probate referees appointed by the Controller under Section 400 to appraise property in the county where the real property is located. The appraisal shall be made as provided in Part 3 (commencing with Section 8800) of Division 7. The petitioner may appraise the assets which a personal representative could appraise under Section 8901.