Probate referee represented by someone typing.

2 minute read

California probate: what is a probate referee?

A probate referee is a certified appraiser for probate that will value real estate and the personal property inside. Learn more here!

Mitch Mitchell

Mitch Mitchell, @MitchMitchell

Product Counsel, Legal, Trust & Will

Accurately determining and reporting the true value of an estate to the court and to interested parties, such as heirs and creditors, is an important step in the California probate process.

Some assets, like bank statements and investments, are easy to value, as a ready market price can be easily obtained. Unfortunately, other assets may not have a clear “market” price and can be significantly over or undervalued. 

The probate referee is a certified appraiser for probate that will value real estate and the personal property inside.

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Is a probate referee required in California? 

Yes! California requires a probate referee whenever there is real estate in probate valued at more than $50,000. This requirement ensures that an accurate and complete listing and valuation of all the assets will be reported to the court.

When the personal representative reports the inventory (list of estate assets) to the court, the probate referee will be responsible for listing and valuing the real estate and items contained inside the real estate properties. The probate referee will report directly to the court.

Here is a list of Certified Probate Referees in California.  

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