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Los Angeles Probate 411 - The Essentials Of Probate Real Estate in Los Angeles

You may have encountered, or will eventually be in a situation where you have to carry out the responsibility of selling a house in probate. The probate process can be overwhelming, yet, with the right real estate agent, you can make the process a lot smoother going in well informed.

What Is A Probate Property?

Probate is the legal process by which validation is given to a deceased person’s will. During this time, any beneficiaries may legally obtain property promised to them in a will. If there is no will, the probate process appoints legal ownership to a close relative of the deceased under the intestate succession laws. Therefore, probate property is an asset left by the decedent and must pass through a probate court.

In the State of California, passing without a will can lead to the person’s estate being allotted contrary to their requests. When this happens, the intestate succession laws come into action. Under the California intestate succession laws, the decedent’s heirs may receive a portion of the estate; this depends on whether they are next of kin.

Probate estates are titled only under the decedent’s name. There are many types of probate assets; they include real estate, bank accounts, brokerage and investment accounts, promissory notes, contracts for deed, stocks, bonds, life insurance payable to a decedent’s estate, and vehicles.

Intestate Succession Law

Under the California Intestate Succession Laws, an heir at law is a person who is legally entitled to receive property upon that person’s death. If the decedent is not married or in a registered domestic partnership at the time of death, heirs will inherit the property based on the rules of descent and distribution. The California intestacy laws determine who is considered the decedent’s heir at law. Heirs will have first preference in this order:

  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents

Although state laws may vary in specifics, all states have intestate succession laws that determine what happens to probate assets.

Inherited Property

During the probate process, and after debts paid, the decedent’s ownership rights in the family home legally pass to the heirs. However, the heir or heirs do not have to keep the house. If, for example, an inherited property by two or more children may choose to keep it as tenants in common (a form of joint ownership) or sell it and split the proceeds. Please note that the decedent’s death does not eliminate a mortgage. Instead, it must be paid by the heirs, or the property sold to pay it.

The Process of Selling a House in Probate / Probate Property Sale Procedure
An executor is someone appointed in a will by the decedent and willing to act as such. Otherwise, the closest relative will be designated as an administrator by either the court or other relatives.

Have an Experienced Team

The process of selling real estate through probate involves a string of court-regulated steps that must be thoroughly monitored and managed. If you want to take the hassle out of the probate sales process, you may want to work with experienced and knowledgeable probate real estate agents at Josh V Realty. You will also need to work with an attorney who will represent you as the will goes through probate. Your attorney will take care of filing documents with the court, help collect any money obtained from life insurance, problem solve income tax issues, and more.

Petition to Start the Probate Process

The executor will need to file a petition to start the probate process. The court office must be local to where the decedent lived. The heirs and beneficiaries listed in the will need to be notified of the petition to begin probate. Notification of the probate court date to the decedent’s heirs allows the opportunity for any objections to be made. It’s important to note that probate hearings are a public record, and the hearing date most likely listed in the local newspaper.


Next, an appraisal of the property must now be performed. Josh V Realty can help refer you to a trusted appraiser. The property must sell for at least 90% of the appraised value. Once an acceptable buyer is found, we will work with the executor and the court to negotiate acceptable terms.

Listing the Probate Property

The court must then accept the offer and its terms.

The home will then be listed for sale and marketed for exposure. An experienced agent such as Joshua Vigo-Fas will list the home on the MLS (multiple listing service) so that it ends up on sites like, and Zillow. Buyers will know that the property is a probate sale.


An interested buyer must make an offer accompanied by a 10% deposit, which may be rejected by the sellers. The offer is subject to the court’s confirmation, and the seller is not committed to that buyer even if their offer was accepted. The executor will then submit to the court to confirm the sale. If all the parties agree, then a future date is set to be finalized in court.

Notice of Proposed Action is mailed to the heirs stating the terms of the proposed sale after an acceptable offer on the property’s made. The heirs then have 15 days to review the notice and pose any objections. If there are no objections, the same may proceed without a court hearing.


In California, the overbidding laws are precise. The law states that buyers must offer an additional
$1,000 plus 5% of the proposed sale price, minus $10,000. It would be best if you got in contact with a knowledgeable, experienced probate expert because Overbidding laws vary by state.

Finalization procedures vary by state. Despite an offer being finalized and accepted by the court, it may be at least a month before the property is legally sold.

We understand that dealing with the sale of a property in probate can be confusing and stressful. With over a combined 100 years of experience, Josh V Realty specializes in probate sales in the Los Angeles area. Trying to work through the probate process alone may prove to be difficult, and hiring an attorney may not be cost-efficient, so contact us today and start relieving yourself from stress.

Call Josh V Realty at (213) 465-0936. You’ll be glad you did.

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