Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

my great grandmother house will be sold ans the proceeds split among her children. Both of my grand parents have since passed and my mother in their will is the executor. However she has passed. What can my family do to ensure we have a family member if needed to be our representative?

Asked on 8/06/13, 10:47 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

William Christian Rodi Pollock

The first step is to obtain a copy of the deed to the house to determine exactly what name is on title. It is probable a probate will be required, and there is a statutory preference for relatives such that the closest will have priority if they want to serve. However the family can agree to appoint someone if they agree. That person would petition the court for appointment. Once appointed that person will be able to deal with the sale (though probate does involve some complexity in doing so). Obviously this is an over simplification of a rather complex process, and you will need assistance to get it accomplished.

You should discuss the issues with a qualified probate attorney, providing them with all the facts. Please feel free to call if you have questions.

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Answered on 8/06/13, 11:23 am

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

The fact that an executor is named in a will does not make that person automatically in charge of the deceased person's affairs, unlike a trust. An executor or executrix only have the powers over the estate once confirmed by a probate court when issued "letters testamentary."

If title to real property is in the name of someone who is deceased, you are going to want to open a probate. I do suggest you speak to a qualified probate attorney who can give you the options to move forward properly.

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Answered on 8/06/13, 12:00 pm

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