Back to the Learning Center

By: Scott Grossman on April 3rd, 2018

Probate Referee in California

What Does a Probate Referee in California Do?

First of all, in a California Probate, the assets of the deceased person need to be inventoried. This can be relatively easy when most assets have a known monetary value, such as cash or securities. Rather than have the estate’s executor or administrator make educated or wild guesses about the value of personal (furniture, jewelry, collections, business) or real property (land, commercial, or residential real estate), the Probate Code requires the intervention of a referee who will appraise the various non-monetary assets listed on the inventory.

Furthermore, Probate Referees in California also appraise the value of property not included in the probate process, such as assets held by living trusts. Referees are appointed by the California Comptroller and must satisfy the required education and work experience and pass the required examination. Education and work experience usually includes working as a licensed attorney or a Certified Public Accountant with experience in valuation.

In conclusion, referees’ fees are based on 0.1 percent of the assets that have been appraised, including mortgages and other debts.

  • Probate Referee (noun): In California, a Probate Referee performs appraisal services for trusts and estates of all types of assets.
  • 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.

If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form. A comprehensive overview of California Probate is available here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.