Code Section Group

Probate Code - PROB

DIVISION 7. ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES OF DECEDENTS [7000 - 12591]

  ( Division 7 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

PART 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS [7000 - 7666]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

CHAPTER 4. Public Administrators [7600 - 7666]

  ( Chapter 4 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

ARTICLE 4. Summary Disposition of Small Estates [7660 - 7666]
  ( Article 4 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

7660.
  

(a) If a public administrator takes possession or control of an estate pursuant to this chapter, the public administrator may, acting as personal representative of the estate, summarily dispose of the estate in the manner provided in this article in either of the following circumstances:

(1) The total value of the property in the decedent’s estate does not exceed the amount prescribed in Section 13100. The authority provided by this paragraph may be exercised only upon order of the court. The order may be made upon ex parte application. The fee to be allowed to the clerk for the filing of the application is two hundred five dollars ($205). The authority for this summary administration of the estate shall be evidenced by a court order for summary disposition.

(2) The total value of the property in the decedent’s estate does not exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). The authority provided by this paragraph may be exercised without court authorization.

(A) A public administrator who is authorized to summarily dispose of property of a decedent pursuant to this paragraph may issue a written certification of Authority for Summary Administration. The written certification is effective for 30 days after the date of issuance.

(B) A financial institution, government or private agency, retirement fund administrator, insurance company, licensed securities dealer, or other person shall, without the necessity of inquiring into the truth of the written certification of Authority for Summary Administration and without court order or letters being issued, do all of the following:

(i) Provide the public administrator complete information concerning any property held in the name of the decedent, including the names and addresses of any beneficiaries or joint owners.

(ii) Grant the public administrator access to a safe-deposit box or storage facility rented in the name of the decedent for the purpose of inspection and removal of property of the decedent. Costs and expenses incurred in accessing a safe-deposit box or storage facility shall be borne by the estate of the decedent.

(iii) Surrender to the public administrator any property of the decedent that is held or controlled by the financial institution, agency, retirement fund administrator, insurance company, licensed securities dealer, or other person.

(C) Receipt by a financial institution, government or private agency, retirement fund administrator, insurance company, licensed securities dealer, or other person of the written certification provided by this article shall do both of the following:

(i) Constitute sufficient acquittance for providing information or granting access to a safe-deposit box or a storage facility and for surrendering any property of the decedent.

(ii) Fully discharge the financial institution, government or private agency, retirement fund administrator, insurance company, licensed securities dealer, or other person from liability for any act or omission of the public administrator with respect to the property, a safe-deposit box, or a storage facility.

(b) Summary disposition may be made notwithstanding the existence of the decedent’s will, if the will does not name an executor or if the named executor refuses to act.

(c) Nothing in this article precludes the public administrator from filing a petition with the court under any other provision of this code concerning the administration of the decedent’s estate.

(d) Petitions filed pursuant to this article shall contain the information required by Section 8002.

(e) If a public administrator takes possession or control of an estate pursuant to this chapter, this article conveys the authority of a personal representative as described in Section 9650 to the public administrator to summarily dispose of the estates pursuant to the procedures described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a).

(f) The fee charged under paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall be distributed as provided in Section 68085.4 of the Government Code. When an application is filed under that paragraph, no other fees shall be charged in addition to the uniform filing fee provided for in Section 68085.4 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 162, Sec. 139. (SB 1171) Effective January 1, 2013.)

7661.
  

A public administrator acting under authority of this article may:

(a) Withdraw money or take possession of any other property of the decedent that is in the possession or control of a financial institution, government or private agency, retirement fund administrator, insurance company, licensed securities dealer, or other person.

(b) Collect any debts owed to the decedent, including, but not limited to, any rents, issues, or profits from the real and personal property in the estate until the estate is distributed.

(c) Sell any personal property of the decedent, including, but not limited to, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other types of securities. Sales may be made with or without notice, as the public administrator elects. Title to the property sold passes without the need for confirmation by the court.

(d) Sell any real property of the decedent. The sale shall be accomplished through one of the following procedures:

(1) The sale may be conducted subject to Article 6 (commencing with Section 10300) of Chapter 18 of Part 5.

(2) With approval specified in the original court order for summary disposition of the estate, the sale of real property may be accomplished using a Notice of Proposed Action according to the following requirements:

(A) The publication of the sale shall be accomplished according to Sections 10300 to 10307, inclusive.

(B) The appraisal of the property and determination of the minimum sale price of 90 percent of the appraised value shall be accomplished according to Section 10309.

(C) If an offer meets the approval of the public administrator and the offered price is at least 90 percent of the appraised value, a notice of proposed action shall be made according to Sections 10581 to 10588, inclusive. If objection is not made to the notice of proposed action, the sale may be completed without a court confirmation of the sale. The sale may be consummated by recording a public administrator’s deed and a copy of the court order for summary disposition that authorized the use of the notice of proposed action.

(D) If an objection to the notice of proposed action is made pursuant to Section 10587, the sale shall be confirmed in court according to Sections 10308 to 10316, inclusive. The sale may be consummated by recording an administrator’s deed and a copy of the court order confirming the sale.

(E) If objection to the notice of proposed action is not made under Section 10587, the public administrator may still elect to have the sale confirmed in court according to Sections 10308 to 10316, inclusive, if the public administrator deems that is in the best interest of the estate. Title to the property sold passes with the public administrator’s deed.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 888, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2005.)

7662.
  

The public administrator acting under authority of this article shall pay out the money of the estate in the order prescribed in Section 11420, for expenses of administration, charges against the estate, and claims presented to the public administrator before distribution of the decedent’s property pursuant to Section 7663. A creditor whose claim is paid under this section is not liable for contribution to a creditor whose claim is presented after the payment.

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 710) by Stats. 1991, Ch. 82, Sec. 23. Effective June 30, 1991. Operative July 1, 1991, by Sec. 31 of Ch. 82.)

7663.
  

(a) After payment of debts pursuant to Section 7662, but in no case before four months after court authorization of the public administrator to act under this article or after the public administrator takes possession or control of the estate, the public administrator shall distribute to the decedent’s beneficiaries any money or other property of the decedent remaining in the possession of the public administrator.

(b) If there are no beneficiaries, the public administrator shall deposit the balance with the county treasurer for use in the general fund of the county, subject to Article 3 (commencing with Section 50050) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code. If the amount deposited exceeds five thousand dollars ($5,000), the public administrator shall at the time of the deposit give the Controller written notice of the information specified in Section 1311 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 401, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1997.)

7664.
  

A person to whom property is distributed under this article is personally liable for the unsecured debts of the decedent. Such a debt may be enforced against the person in the same manner as it could have been enforced against the decedent if the decedent had not died. In an action based on the debt, the person may assert any defenses available to the decedent if the decedent had not died. The aggregate personal liability of a person under this section shall not exceed the fair market value of the property distributed to the person, valued as of the date of the distribution, less the amount of any liens and encumbrances on the property on that date. Section 366.2 of the Code of Civil Procedure applies in an action under this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 178, Sec. 33. Effective January 1, 1993.)

7665.
  

(a) The public administrator shall file with the clerk a statement showing the property of the decedent that came into possession of the public administrator and the disposition made of the property, together with receipts for all distributions. This subdivision does not apply to proceedings under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 7660.

(b) The public administrator shall maintain a file of all receipts and records of expenditures for a period of three years after disposition of the property pursuant to Section 7663.

(Enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79.)

7666.
  

(a) Except as provided in Section 7623 and in subdivision (b), the compensation payable to the public administrator and the attorney, if any, for the public administrator for the filing of an application pursuant to this chapter and for performance of any duty or service connected therewith is that set out in Part 7 (commencing with Section 10800).

(b) The public administrator is entitled to a minimum compensation of one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 888, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2005.)

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