How Court's Value Affects REALTORS in Probate

Real Estate Attorney with Law Offices of Paul Horn

Question: Why does every probate case require an appraisal on the decedent's house?


Answer: California Probate Codes §8802 to 8980 dictate that the personal representative must file an "Inventory and Appraisal" form with the court. As a matter of fact, California court has a mandatory judicial form that the personal representative (PR) must fill out that lists all of the decedent's personal property and real property.   This form is normally filled out by the probate attorney, signed by the  PR, and the probate referee who valued the decedent's house.  Every probate case needs a probate referee to value the decedent's house. The "Inventory and Appraisal" form must be filed with the probate court within four months after the PR has received a form called "Letters".  In Los Angeles county, once "Letters" is issued, the probate attorney will submit an application to have the probate court appoint a probate referee to the probate case. 


Once the court has appointed a probate referee to the case, the probate attorney will fill out the "Inventory and Appraisal" form to submit to the probate referee. The probate referee has 60 days to value the decedent's house and return the form back to the probate attorney. Once the form is returned and the PR has signed the form, then the probate attorney will file it with the court.


The inventory and value of the decedent's property are important for the following reasons: 1) the beneficiaries will be apprised of what assets they are getting, 2) the creditors will know what assets are available to satisfy their claims, 3) if a bond is required, the value will tell the court the amount of bond, 4) the IRS will use the values listed in the "Inventory and Appraisal" form to aid their review for estate tax purposes, 5) the basis of the fees for the PR, probate referee and the probate attorney are based on the value listed on the "Inventory and Appraisal" form, and 6) if it is a limited authority case then the sale of the house must be at least 90% of the appraised value.


Question: What is the "90% Rule" in selling a house in probate? ........Please click here to continue reading the answer.......

Comments (9)

Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Hi Paul, great information.  Welcome to ActiveRain, Keep up the good work.

Dec 01, 2014 12:12 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Welcome to active rain and thanks for this informative post.

Dec 01, 2014 12:25 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Paul Horn - it seems you are an expert on Probate. Thanks for sharing your knowledge here on ActiveRain.

Dec 01, 2014 12:39 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I have been asked to provide market appraisals on divorce cases but not on estate settlements. Dealing with the heirs can be quite challenging and I am glad people like you know just what to do Paul Horn

Dec 13, 2014 09:28 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Paul, You are providing such good information. I featured you in my Saturday Subscribers Finds series and thought you might want to take a look.

Dec 13, 2014 10:33 AM
Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

Hi Paul,


You've provided lots of valuable information!  :) Just closed a listing that was an estate sale. Thankfully, the home was in a "living trust", so no probate required.    

Dec 13, 2014 12:40 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Paul - welcome to Active Rain.  It is great to have an Attorney writing.  I am looking forward to reading your blogs

Dec 13, 2014 01:11 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Welcome to ActiveRain. Best wishes for great success with your blogging.

Dec 13, 2014 08:11 PM