Overview of the Probate Estate Administration Closing Procedure

Finally, after several months (or even years) or administering the estate of your deceased loved one, the end is in sight. Expenses have been paid, assets managed, and creditors have been given an opportunity to come forward and make claims. You may now move forward with the process of closing the estate. This is a multi-step process that must be carried out in accordance with the probate court rules in California.

Closing an Estate Administration

Once you are ready to close an estate, there are several actions that you must take in order to ensure that it is handled properly. Following is a general overview:

  1. Prepare a final account for the estate assets, income, and expenses. File this report with the Superior Court in Orange County or other court that has jurisdiction.
  2. Prepare and file a petition for final distribution before distributing the remainder of the estate assets.
  3. Include a provision within the petition for personal representative fees, if desired.
  4. Have the petition set for a hearing that will allow interested persons to come forward and challenge the closing of the estate or the final accounting.
  5. Obtain a court order that approves the final distribution of the assets.
  6. Distribute the assets of the estate.

In some cases, you may also need to file a status report as part of the estate-closing process. This report needs to be filed whenever the estate is not being closed within one year after issuance of Letters of Administration. If the estate was required to file a federal estate tax return, the time period is extended to 18 months.

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