California Probate Referee: What Are They and Do I Need One?
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. California requires a probate referee whenever there is real estate in probate valued at more than $50,000. This requirements 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.