2005 California Probate Code Sections 7660-7666 Article 4. Summary Disposition of Small Estates

PROBATE CODE
SECTION 7660-7666

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 one
hundred eighty dollars ($180). 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 thirty thousand dollars ($30,000).  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).


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