How does it work?
The probate process starts with filing a probate petition. You may not place the house on the market until the court has issued the "Probate Letters." The probate letters signify that you are the official personal representative of the decedent's estate. The personal representative is granted full or limited authority in the document.
If the probate court grants full authority, your transaction will be identical to a typical real estate sale under the Independent Administration of Estates Act. After the court issues the "Letters," you can sign the listing agreement, market the property, and accept an offer. Next, the attorney mails out the "Notice of Proposed Action" to all interested parties. If no one objects, after 15 days, you can close escrow. However, if the court grants only limited authority under the IAEA, selling the real estate in probate becomes significantly more complicated. You must publish a notice of sale in a local newspaper, file a form titled "Report of Sale and Petition for Order Confirming Sale of Real Property," and attend a court hearing where the sale will be subject to an auction known as the "overbidding process." The judge will sign an order with the winning bidder's name, and then you can close escrow.
The following time-line occurs after filing the probate petition in the usual probate process:
File the "Probate Petition" at the courthouse (1st to 2nd month) Notice of the first court hearing date published in the newspaper of general circulation in the decedent's resident city and notice mailed to all heirs and named beneficiaries (1st to 2nd month) The first court hearing date (2nd to 3rd month) Issued Bond - if ordered by the judge (2nd to 3rd month) "Probate Letters" & "Order" appointing the personal representative are issued (2nd to 3rd month) Personal representative gathers all assets and inventories for safekeeping (0 to 3rd month) "Notice to Creditors" form sent to all reasonably known creditors (2nd to 4th month) The Real properties get sold, if full authority is granted (3rd to 4th month) "Inventory & Appraisal" form filed with the court (4th to 6th month) "Change in Ownership Statement Death of Real Property Owner" form filed with the County Recorder (4th to 6th) "Claim for Reassessment Exclusion for Transfer between Parent and Child" form filed with the County Recorder (4th to 6th month) Debts get paid (4th to 6th month) Taxes get paid (6th to 12th month) Petition for Final Distribution gets filed (8th to 12th month) Second court hearing date (9th to 12th month) Order signed by the judge allowing distribution to heirs (9th to 12th month) Final Distribution to heirs/beneficiaries (9th to 12th month) Case closed (10th to 12th month)