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By: Scott Grossman on April 10th, 2018

If I am the personal representative of my loved one’s estate and do not know the location of an heir for sending notice, what do I do?

Under the California probate laws, the executor, administrator, or personal representative of an estate must send notice to the heirs of a decedent at the beginning of the probate process. This notice must include the date, time, and location of the hearing for appointment and allowance of the will. Sometimes, however, you might find that you do not know the location of an heir. If you find yourself in this predicament, it is vital that you contact an experienced San Diego probate attorney for guidance.

The following are steps that can be taken when you do not know the location of an heir of a California probate estate:

  1. First of all, seek the assistance of a probate attorney in California.
  2. Then, consult with friends, relatives, or employers of the heir.
  3. Also, make sure to review telephone and internet directories to try and find the last known address.
  4. Furthermore, review the real and personal property indexes at the assessor’s office in the county of the heir’s last known address.
  5. In conclusion, prepare and file with the probate court a “Declaration of Due Diligence” if you still cannot locate the heir.

If you have taken all of the above actions and still do not know the location of an heir, the court will decide whether enough has been done or will give instructions for what to do next.

To learn more about probate administration in California, contact an experienced San Diego probate lawyer at (888) 443-6590.

Administrator (noun):

The Administrator of an Estate is a legal term. This term refers to someone appointed by a Court to administer the Estate of a deceased person with no Will.

Executor (noun):

Person named in a Will as the person who will make sure that the instructions in the Will are followed. They are responsible for executing the Will, and are either appointed by the court or by the deceased person. They are responsible for taking care of a deceased person’s financial obligations. Financial obligations include disposing of property and paying bills and taxes. The executor must also make certain that the deceased last wishes are carried out according to the Will.

Estate (noun):

An estate includes the things that a person owns. The things left by someone who has died can be distributed based on a Will, Trust, or Intestate laws. Estates have to be administered in the Probate Court if the estate meets certain criteria.