Order for Probate
After the initial Probate hearing, the Judge will sign Judicial Council Form DE-140 Order for Probate. The Order for Probate is used to appoint the Executor or Administrator of the Estate and should be issued at the same time as the Letters of Administration which are issued so the Administrator can begin managing the estate.
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The Order for Probate will list the date, time, department, and Judge who heard the case and will indicate what the Judge ordered. The Court must find that all required notices were given at the correct times and all interested parties were served. The Order will list the date the decedent died, indicate if they were or were not a resident of California and of the county in which the Probate case was opened, if the decedent died with or without a Will, the date of the Will and any codicils that were executed.
The Court will then indicate on the Order for Probate that the Petitioner is appointed the Personal Representative as either executor of the decedent’s Will, administrator with Will annexed, administrator or special administrator and will determine if the special administrator will have general powers, special powers or can continue without notice of hearing.
Authority of the Personal Representative
The Judge will give authority to the Personal Representative by either giving full or limited authority. Full authority is governed under the Independent Administration Estates Act and allows the Personal Representative to manage the estate (i.e., sell property, manage assets and make distributions) without obtaining a Court order. Limited authority is granted when nothing can be done without court supervision and a Court order is needed to sell, purchase, exchange or borrow money against any real property. At this time the Judge will determine if it is necessary for the Personal Representative to obtain a bond. If a bond is required the Judge can determine a fixed amount to be obtained by a surety company or for the Personal Representative to make a deposit into a blocked account.
Lastly, the Judge will order whether or not the Personal Representative is or is not authorized to take any money or property without a further Court order, and depending on your county’s local rules, a Probate Referee will be appointed. The Judge will then date and sign the Order for Probate and you will take the Order and the Letters for Administration to the Clerk of the Court to have the documents certified.