California Real Property Ownership Transfer from Decedent to Heirs by…

$150,000 is the cutoff for one petition or two petitions.

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When California real property is owned by a person who has died and that property is in that person’s name only, a court order is required for distribution to heirs. This Tip Sheet by Deed and Record provides an overview of how to obtain a court order. There are two options. The procedure to use depends on the fair market value of the real property on the date of death.

Real property valued greater than $150,000 requires “Administration of Estate of Decedent” in the Superior Court of California. Administration requires the filing of two petitions. The first petition is for a court order for appointment of a personal representative of the decedent. After appointment, the personal representative settles all debts of the decedent and may sell the property. The second petition is for a court order to transfer the real property or distribute the sale proceeds to decedent’s heirs.

The second option is a “Court Order Determining Succession to Property.” Succession requires only one petition to obtain an order. But Succession is only available for real property values less than $150,000. So, in real life, this procedure is available for real property located outside of major cities or for when a decedent was a part owner of real property located in a city.

Title to a decedent’s real property transfers on the decedent’s death to the person to whom it is devised in the decedent’s last will or, in the absence of a will, to the decedent’s heirs as prescribed under California law. Transfer requires a court order.

Real property with a market value greater than $150,000 as of date of death requires two petitions and two court orders under the probate laws of “Administration of Estate of Decedent.” Real property valued at less than $150,000 requires just one petition and one court order using the procedures provided under the probate laws of “Succession to Property.”

This press release was provided by Mark W. Bidwell. Mr. Bidwell’s office is located at 4952 Warner Avenue, Suite 235, Huntington Beach, California 92660. Phone number is 714-846-2888. Website is http://www.deedandrecord.com.

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