Because of time and cost. If the estate is worth (for example) $140,000 and it's probated, then I am entitled to charge $5,200 to assist you with the probate. Add another $790 (or more) for court filing fees (2 hearings @ $395/ea) and $100 to $450 to file the required Notice of Petition for Probate with a newspaper and the cost would be at least $6,000 (plus, the executor can also charge $5,200 which would raise the probate cost to at least $11,200).
On the other hand, you might be able to...
I agree with Mr. Marshal ... if your boyfriend only signed a promissory note and did not also sign a "deed of trust" (called a "mortgage in other states) on the properties, your father had an unsecured debt. In order to enforce the debt (assuming that it's not too late to do so ... which is not clear from your question), you would first need to become the "personal representative" (executor or administrator) of your father's estate.
Unless there's a deed of trust on the properties, your...
You signed a binding contract and the buyer can require you to sell to him.
Furthermore, if you signed a listing agreement with a real estate agent, the agent fulfilled his obligations by bringing you a qualified buyer who was ready and willing to purchase the property. Therefore, the agent has fully earned the commission on the sale. Most likely, you will need to pay the commission or the agent can sue you for non-performance.
In addition to the other answers, if your mother was not a US citizen and did not have a "green card", the sister who inherited the house will need to file an estate tax return and will probably need to pay estate tax ... a non-citizen/non-green card holder only has a $60,000 exemption from estate tax - not the $5,000,000 exemption ($5.120MM this year) that citizens currently enjoy.
No, once probate closes it will be too late - as part of the petition for final distribution the executor will ask the Court to "ratify, confirm, and approve" everything he's done.
You need to file a petition with the Court NOW to have him held accountable for his misdeeds.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
Under the California probate code if an attorney is the administrator of the estate, he can charge fees for acting as either the administrator or for acting as the attorney, but he cannot charge for both.
He can charge an hourly rate as long as the total compensation does not exceed the fees permitted by the probate code for "ordinary" services to the estate ... and he can only get paid those fees when a Court has "okayed" them (usually at the time the petition for final distribution of the...
I'm sorry about your friend's death. There is a specific probate code procedure for transferring real property having a value of $20,000 or less without probate. See Form DE-305 "Affidavit Re Real Property of Small Value" which gets filed with the Court. You (or the son) will need to follow the procedures outlined in the form. Here is a copy: http://courts.ca.gov/documents/de305.pdf
It's not sufficient to know when the contest period ends. There are a multitude of things that can delay distributing a trust estate - for example, the need to sell property to pay estate taxes, the need to file back income tax returns (many elderly or sick individuals fail to file their tax returns; a smart trustee will make sure that all of the returns have been filed before s/he distributes the assets), and so on.
Whether you pay taxes on the amount you receive depends upon what you...