Is an Estate Taking Too Long to Close? File a Status Report With the Probate Court.

In certain situations, the personal representative of an estate may need to file a status report with the court. One example of this condition is when the estate cannot be closed within one year from the date the will was accepted by the probate court and the personal representative was appointed. Another is when the estate is required to file a federal estate tax return, but it cannot be closed within 18 months after the issuance of letters. Estates falling under these scenarios must file verified status reports with the court.

The court will then schedule a hearing. A Notice of Hearing must be sent to all of the persons interested in the estate at least 15 days prior to the hearing date.

What Is Included in the Status Report?

The status report that is filed with the appropriate California probate court must include the following information:

  1. The condition of the estate
  2. The reasons why it cannot be closed and distributed
  3. The estimated time needed to close the estate

It also must contain a statement, in essentially the following form: “You have the right to petition for an account under Section 10950 of the California Probate Code.” This statement must be not less than 10-point boldface type.

Examples of situations which might lead to the inability to a close an estate on time, and therefore necessitate the filing of a status report, include estates where there is ongoing litigation, an estate tax audit, or real estate that must be sold to pay debts or cash gifts. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help you recognize when a report may be required in order to ensure that you fulfill your obligations as a personal representative of an estate.

To learn more about the requirements for properly administering an estate in, call our office today for a consultation.