Skip to main content

What are the steps necessary to file a succession to real property under 100k in Ca? Is there any help with cost of appraisal?

Bakersfield, CA |

My Father passed away a little over 1 yr ago. Less than a yr before he passed he purchased a home for $70k with a 30 yr mortgage. He didn't have any other assets other than a truck worth maybe $4k. He didn't leave a will, and was not married, so my Brother and I are the only heirs, he had no other children. I was told that we needed to file a succession to real property in order to get the house transferred to my Brother and I. The court has said that to file this a appraisal needs to be done w/ a probate ref and costs $700 plus. I would like to know what are the steps I have to take to file a succession, and if this appraisal is mandatory, is there any fee waiver or assistance available? lender needs a doc listing my bro &i exec.of estate at least in ordr to handle affairs w/mrtg

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2


This procedure includes many steps; too many to be explained here. Here's how I suggest that you proceed:
1. Obtain Nolo's California Probate Book (link below), either by purchasing or at a library.
2. Follow Nolo's instructions carefully, but when you have specific questions, ask here on Avvo.

I don't believe it will cost you $700 to get through this process -- but it will be expensive. The appraisal, by the Probate Referee, will probably cost about $100, and the filing fees $465. The recording fees will probably be less than $50. I don't know of any way to reduce these fees -- though you might ask the court clerk.

Good Luck!

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.



Thank you so much for the helpful information. One more question if you don't mind, if the lender for the mortgage is requesting a court document showing me and my Brother as executor of the estate, is that something I can do before actually getting the whole succession thing started? I am just wondering if this is something that will take awhile and/or possibly be expensive. I'm hoping to be able to at least get that document right away so I can try and even talk to the lender about the mortgage details. Is there a time frame that a succession has to be done within also, I don't want to find out I took to long to get it started? Thank you so very much for all your advice.

Edward Warren Goodson

Edward Warren Goodson


The document the lender requests, known as Letters Testamentary, is only available in a full formal probate setting. You will either use the small estate procedure or full probate, but not both. Full probate will be more expensive (probably about $4,000 to $5,000) and will take at least 7 months to complete. You need to find out from the lender if the small estate procedure would be sufficient.


Mr. Goodson has provided you with great advice. To keep costs down, you can certainly use the Nolo publication. Be conscientious of the details so that you don't miss anything. As for the fees, you should be able to accomplish the stated objective for less then the $700, hopefully. Good luck

When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel.