real estate, tenants in common, deceased 15.5% ownership, value under $10,000 ... how to avoid probate and sell?
1 Answer from Attorneys
You can probably avoid probate and sell, but the overall process has too many steps and the law has too many cautionary provisions for me to describe how to do it, step by step, in a LawGuru answer. First thing you might want to do is get ahold of a copy of the Probate Code and skim Division 8, "Disposition of Estate without Administration," wich consists of Probate Code sections 13000 through 13660. The first half applies if you are not the surviving spouse (sections 13000 - 13210); the second half applies if you are the surviving spouse of the decedent (sections 13500 - 13660). Next step would be to try to find a self-help law book, probably a paperback, to use as a procedural guide. I often recommend Nolo Press, but their one book on the subject (The Executor's Guide) is written by a non-California attorney (Mary Randolph) and may not sufficiently set forth and discuss California's laws. I do not have a copy of this book. Finally, if the subject seems daunting, a lawyer in your neighborhood with some specialization in wills, trusts and estates can probably coach you through the process without charging fees that would drain the estate, assuming this estate truly qualifies for small-estate treatment, as it very well may.