Does the Court supervise the personal representative?

Not usually. But, in some situations the Court requires the personal representative to ask the Court’s permission to sell real estate or business interests owned by the estate. The personal representative cannot do any of the following things without the Court’s permission:

  • pay fees to himself or herself,
  • pay fees to his or her attorney,
  • make a preliminary distribution of property to beneficiaries (with a few exceptions), or
  • close the estate.

If the personal representative lives outside of California, the court will require that s/he get a surety bond (an insurance policy that protects the estate beneficiaries in the event of the personal representative’s wrongful use of the estate’s property), even if the Will waives this requirement.

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