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Probate, Trust & Conservatorship Sales

Ron Greenwald & Patti Gerke are knowledgeable and experienced with the California Probate Real Estate Code and the process of selling a home though a “probate” transaction.

274159Estate Administration provides for the distribution of real and personal property after one’s death. Any property which a decedent owned or in which the decedent had an interest at the time of death is collected into the estate and distributed to those entitled to it after all debts and expenses have been paid. The process of administering a decedent’s estate is referred to as “probate,” and is generally supervised by the probate court. A personal representative is the person or entity charged with the responsibility of administering a decedent’s estate (Cal. Prob. Code § 58(a)). A personal representative is charged with the fiduciary responsibility of gathering assets and paying the debts of the decedent and can be either:

  • An executor (executrix) who is named in a will; or
  • An administrator (administratrix) who is appointed by the court when there is no will, when the will does not name an executor or when the named executor is unable or unwilling to serve.


At Greenwald & Gerke, our goal is to make it as simple and easy as possible for you throughout this process. We provide the following:

  • Straightforward, non-technical counseling of agents of prospective buyers on the offer process.
  • Accurate, on-time reports for inspections of the property.
  • Streamlined communication between all parties. We work with a network of qualified, trained specialists throughout Southern California.
  • Anticipation of problems that might cause delayed closing and the skill to counter them with swift solutions.
  • Knowledgeable handling of the offer process and all subsequent paperwork.
  • Our “team” of cleaners, haulers, appraisers, contractors, landscapers, painters, etc. is available to help you with all pre-listing work that you may need or desire to help you achieve top dollar for the property.

Our goal is to make it as simple and easy as possible for you throughout this process.



* Your attorney files the petition for your appointment as the estate’s personal representative.

Day 1 – The Probate Court issues Letters, your authorization as the personal representative.

Day 10 – Greenwald & Gerke are selected to market the home.

Days 10-40 – An intensive marketing period occurs with our Plan of Action.

Day 40 – OPTION “A” – If sold under Independent Administration: Upon acceptance of an offer without Court Confirmation, if applicable, a typical 30-45 day escrow period follows. The successful bidder secures financing, executes proper documents, causes escrow to close, and approximately

Day 70-85 – The estate receives final sales proceeds.


DAY 40 – OPTION “B” – If sold with Court Confirmation: Upon acceptance of an offer subject to Court Confirmation, a confirmation hearing date is set by the Probate. This normally occurs if there is fighting amongst family members.

Court (usually 30 days after this initial bid acceptance).

On approximately Day 70, in person, the attorney reports to the open Probate courtroom and to the Probate Judge the Personal Representative’s willingness to accept the previously made bid. At the court hearing, the Judge then offers anyone present in court the opportunity to make a final, higher bid on the property. This is truly a live, in-court auction. At the conclusion of a back-and-forth auction, the final sales price and highest bidder are approved by the Probate Court.

A typical 30-45 day escrow period follows. The successful court bidder secures financing, executes proper documents, causes escrow to close.

Approximately Day 100-115, the estate receives final sales proceeds.

This represents a general timeline of marketing, sale, and closing escrow during Probate administration. Estate properties may sell and close escrow in as short as 30 days, or as long as, or longer than any other real estate sale. There is a wide range of flexibility associated with the sale of probate property not discussed here. Please call me for more information.

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