Limited Authority of a Personal Representative’s Power Under the IAEA

In an effort to allow for less court involvement during the administration of estates, the Independent Administration of Estate Act (IAEA) was implemented in California. The IAEA gives personal representatives the authority to take certain actions without involving the court. A personal representative of an estate can be granted authority to carry out the administration under the provisions of the IAEA either by court order or under the terms of the decedent’s will. A court can also decide to give the personal representative only a limited ability to act without supervision.

Differences Between “Limited” and “Full” Authority

When a court gives a personal representative only limited authority, he or she is not able to do the following without court involvement:

  1. Sell the estate’s real estate
  2. Exchange the estate’s real estate
  3. Grant an option to purchase the estate’s real estate
  4. Borrow money by using the estate’s real estate as collateral

Aside from these significant limitations, the personal representative is able to take all other actions permitted under the rules of the IAEA. Court supervision is required over the administration of the estate.

Conversely, when full authority is granted to the personal representative, he or she can take any action permitted under the IAEA. This includes selling, exchanging, and encumbering real estate owned by the estate. It also includes the ability to grant an option to purchase regarding such real estate. Such actions can be taken within the personal representative’s discretion, without requiring court supervision.

When administering an estate in California, it is important for personal representatives to be aware of the provisions of the IAEA and whether they are available. For additional helpful tips about implementing estate plans, we invite you to sign up for our free newsletter today.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm
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