July 21, 2011

Probate Deadlines in California

There are deadlines in life for everything. Administering an estate is no different. The following are some deadlines that apply to various estates. Failure to observe these deadline may result in penalties or liabilities for the offending party.This is not an exhaustive list of all responsibilities for reference.
  • The custodian of the decedent's original will must (1) lodge the original will with the clerk of the county where the decedent resided at the time of death and (2) mail a copy of the will to the named executor within 30 days of learning of the death. Prob C §8200.
  • If the decedent had a probate estate worth $100,000 or less, a minimum of 40 days must elapse before an affidavit can be executed and presented to a holder of the decedent's assets for recovery. Prob C §13100.
  • When a trust becomes irrevocable or a change in trustee of an irrevocable trust occurs, the trustee must serve notice to various parties no later than 60 days after the occurrence of the event requiring service of the notification, or 60 days after the trustee becomes aware of the existence of a person entitled to receive notification if that person was not known to the trustee at the time of the occurrence of the triggering event. Prob C §16061.7
  • A person receiving a 16061.7 notice has 120 days to contest the trust from the date the notice is served on him or her, or 60 days from the date when a copy of the terms of the trust is mailed or personally delivered to the person during that 120-day period, whichever is later. Prob C §16061.8.
  • If the decedent received Medi-Cal or was the surviving spouse of a person who received benefits, a Medi-Cal notice must be sent to the California Department of Health Services within 90 days from the date of death and must include a copy of the decedent's death certificate. Prob C §215
  • Once a will has been admitted to probate, a petition for revocation of probate must be filed within 120 days. Prob C §8270(a)
  • If the decedent owned real property, a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (PCOR) must be filed within 150 days of the date of death even if the transfer was through the medium of a trust. Rev & T C §480(b).
  • The estate tax return is due within 9 months after the date of decedent's death. IRC §6075(a).