Who cannot act as a personal representative during a California probate administration?

A personal representative is someone who is entrusted to carry out the administration of a California estate. This role comes with several significant responsibilities, including managing the estate assets, providing notice to creditors and heirs, and distributing the estate property. Since these duties are so important to ensuring that the proper people receive the estate assets, the California Probate Code outlines certain requirements related to who is allowed to serve as a probate representative. In general, anyone can serve in this capacity. However, the following categories of people are prohibited from being a personal representative:

  1. Minors
  2. Anyone who is under a conservatorship
  3. Non-residents of the United States, unless such person was named executor under a will
  4. Surviving business partners of the decedent, if an interested party objects, unless such person is named as executor under the will

Anyone who does not fall under the above categories is potentially eligible to serve as a personal representative. Individuals serving in this role are not required to have a financial background or other skills. The individual also does not have to live in California. If you do not want someone to serve as the personal representative of an estate in which you have an interest, and the individual does not fall into any of the above categories, you could potentially still have them removed. Our article, 10 Reasons for Removal of the Executor of a California Estate, provides a list of 10 justifications for seeking the removal of a personal representative.

To learn more about the estate administration process, view our free guide The Insider’s Guide to California Probate and Trust Administration. Contact an experienced San Diego estate lawyer today for additional assistance. Call our toll-free number at (888) 443-6590 for a consultation.

Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman


The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307