Not every action that a personal representative takes on behalf of a California state requires a formal court hearing. In fact, many of the areas that can be completed by the personal representative can be done after filing the official paperwork to become the personal representative and getting registered with the IRS.

However, there are certain issues that might trigger a necessary court hearing. Court approval must be obtained before a personal representative does any of the following actions:

  • Paying commissions or fees to themselves as the personal representative or to an attorney.
  • Approving accountings associated with the estate.
  • Exchanging or selling property that belongs to the estate while serving in the role of personal representative.
  • Distributing property with the exception for the distributions that are made after giving a notice of proposed action.
  • Exchanging or selling real property if the personal representative only has limited authority.

Some kinds of actions require a notice of proposed action, also referred to as form DE-165. These include:

  • Granting an option to purchase real property.
  • Encumbering or borrowing estate property.
  • Incorporating or selling the business of the deceased.
  • Exchanging or selling real property if the personal presentative has full authority.
  • Distributing certain kinds of property after the period for filing a creditor’s claim has ended.

Consulting with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney in California can help you to clarify many of the most important rules and considerations that must be taken into effect by a personal representative.

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