Code Section Group

Probate Code - PROB

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

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

PART 2. OPENING ESTATE ADMINISTRATION [8000 - 8577]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

CHAPTER 4. Appointment of Personal Representative [8400 - 8577]

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

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [8400 - 8405]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

8400.
  

(a) A person has no power to administer the estate until the person is appointed personal representative and the appointment becomes effective. Appointment of a personal representative becomes effective when the person appointed is issued letters.

(b) Subdivision (a) applies whether or not the person is named executor in the decedent’s will, except that a person named executor in the decedent’s will may, before the appointment is made or becomes effective, pay funeral expenses and take necessary measures for the maintenance and preservation of the estate.

(c) The order appointing a personal representative shall state in capital letters on the first page of the order, in at least 12-point type, the following: “WARNING: THIS APPOINTMENT IS NOT EFFECTIVE UNTIL LETTERS HAVE ISSUED.”

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 862, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 1997.)

8401.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 8400, a petitioner for appointment as personal representative may deliver property in the petitioner’s possession to a trust company or financial institution for deposit, or allow a trust company or financial institution to retain on deposit property already in its possession, as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 9700) of Part 5.

(b) The petitioner shall obtain and file with the court a written receipt including the agreement of the trust company or financial institution that the property on deposit, including any earnings thereon, shall not be allowed to be withdrawn except on order of the court.

(c) In receiving and retaining property under this section, the trust company or financial institution is protected to the same extent as though it had received the property from a person who had been appointed personal representative.

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

8402.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a person is not competent to act as personal representative in any of the following circumstances:

(1) The person is under the age of majority.

(2) The person is subject to a conservatorship of the estate or is otherwise incapable of executing, or is otherwise unfit to execute, the duties of the office.

(3) There are grounds for removal of the person from office under Section 8502.

(4) The person is not a resident of the United States.

(5) The person is a surviving business partner of the decedent and an interested person objects to the appointment.

(b) Paragraphs (4) and (5) of subdivision (a) do not apply to a person named as executor or successor executor in the decedent’s will.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 703, Sec. 19. (AB 2881) Effective January 1, 2017.)

8403.
  

(a) Before letters are issued, the personal representative shall take and subscribe an oath to perform, according to law, the duties of the office. The oath may be taken and dated on or after the time the petition for appointment as personal representative is signed, and may be filed with the clerk at any time after the petition is granted.

(b) The oath constitutes an acceptance of the office and shall be attached to or endorsed on the letters.

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

8404.
  

(a) Before letters are issued, the personal representative (other than a trust company or a public administrator) shall file an acknowledgment of receipt of a statement of duties and liabilities of the office of personal representative. The statement shall be in the form prescribed by the Judicial Council.

(b) The court may by local rule require the acknowledgment of receipt to include the personal representative’s birth date and driver’s license number, if any, provided that the court ensures their confidentiality.

(c) The statement of duties and liabilities prescribed by the Judicial Council does not supersede the law on which the statement is based.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 806, Sec. 26. Effective January 1, 1995.)

8405.
  

Letters shall be signed by the clerk under the seal of the court and shall include:

(a) The county from which the letters are issued.

(b) The name of the person appointed as personal representative and whether the personal representative is an executor, administrator, administrator with the will annexed, or special administrator.

(c) A notation whether the personal representative is authorized to act under the Independent Administration of Estates Act (Part 6 (commencing with Section 10400) of Division 7), and if so authorized whether the independent administration authority includes or excludes the power to do any of the following:

(1) Sell real property.

(2) Exchange real property.

(3) Grant an option to purchase real property.

(4) Borrow money with the loan secured by an encumbrance upon real property.

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

PROBProbate Code - PROB