Probate Process

We can walk you through the probate process and you get the best price for your property.

Contact Eric McCormick

(559) 304-4637

REALTOR® • LIC #01931027

Probate Process Fresno

What is Probate? Probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a will, including real property.

1. Appointment of Executor (or Administrator)

The decedent (deceased person) names a person in their will as the Executor. If that person is willing to serve then they will be appointed as the Executor. If the person is unwilling to serve, or there is no will, or if the will does not name an Executor then the courts will appoint an Executor. This person could be the surviving spouse, an adult child of the deceased, an heir, someone recommended by an heir or a Public Administrator.

2. Probate Referee

An appraisal on the property is provided by the Probate Referee.

3. Listing and Sale of Property

Eric McCormick and London Properties put the property on the MLS and advertise the property. This may include signage, open houses, online or print advertising, networking and solicitation of other REALTORS®. London Properties is the largest real estate broker in the Central Valley with more than 300 REALTORS®. Eric McCormick is an award-winning marketing consultant and REALTOR® who will design a marketing plan for the property.

4. Accepted Offer

For offers to be accepted they must be 90% or more of the Probate Referee’s appraisal price. Eric McCormick will work with the Attorney and/or Executor to determine the best offer and negotiate the terms. If the Executor has full independent powers under the Independent Administration of Estates Act (IAEA) a Notice of Proposed Action is mailed all heirs. The heirs have 15 days to review and object.

If there are no objections then the sale can proceed without a court confirmation hearing.

If the Executor does not have full independent powers, or if an heir objects to the sale, then additional steps are required. A notice of the sale must be published in a generally distributed local newspaper, unless the will specifically does not mandate such action.

5. Court Confirmation

With an accepted offer your attorney applies for a court date for a confirmation hearing. This usually takes between 30 to 45 days for the application date. A copy of the petition and details of the sale are mailed to all interested parties.

6. Confirmation Hearing & Overbid

At the Court Confirmation hearing, the property is subject to overbid from new buyers. The minimum overbid is 10% of the first $10,000.00 plus 5% of the balance up to the amount of the accepted offer. A cashier’s check for at least 10% of the minimum overbid price must be shown to the court in order to make an overbid. The check is given to the Executor at the hearing. A contract is signed and escrow is opened. Escrow usually takes 30 to 45 days.

Overbid example:

Original offer: $300,000
+10% x $10,000 = $1,000
+5% x $290,000 = $14,500

First overbid minimum: $315,500

x 10% = $31,550 amount due at hearing with cashier’s check

Recap of Probate Listing Process

If the administrator of the estate has full authority they can enter into a real estate listing agreement not to exceed 90 days. If the property does not sell within the listing time frame, the listing can be renewed in 90 day increments, not to exceed 270 days total. When an offer is accepted, the transaction is similar to a typical home sale, however additional paperwork is required.

If the administrator of the estate doesn’t not have full authority the heirs (all interested parties) must be notified of the sale. Once an offer is accepted the administrator must send a Notice of Proposed Action to all interested parties. The interested parties have 15 days to object. If there are no objections, the sale can proceed.

If there are objections, or if the sale requires court confirmation, the administrator’s attorney needs to set a court date, which could take a few weeks to a few months depending on the county. In addition, a legal notice must be published with an adjudicated newspaper. It’s important for the buyer and listing agent to attend the court confirmation in case there is an overbid.

This is a general overview of the probate process and should not be considered legal advice. There are additional legal documents needed for the court and the title company. For more information contact a Probate Attorney or we can provide a list of references.



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Call Eric McCormick, REALTOR® at (559) 304-4637.