Message from the California Probate Referees' Association:
The California Probate Referees' Association established this website as an additional resource for help in answering some of the many questions which arise in the probate process. Hopefully, the links on the directory to the right will be useful in providing the answer to some of the more common questions. The ”Guide to Using Probate Referees” is a link to our procedures guide which has step-by-step instructions for preparing an Inventory and Appraisal including completed examples. In the event you cannot find the answer to a specific question, you can contact a Probate Referee by simply clicking the “Probate Referee Directory” tab and selecting your county. The page will list all the members appointed to your county including their contact and address information.
Although a Probate Referee’s appraisal is required for probate, small estate petitions, conservatorships, and guardianship matters filed with the courts, the Probate Referee can also assist the trustees in non-probate trust matters. Probate code section 16247 specifically allows Probate Referees to provide values in trust matters which are necessary for purposes of distribution, sale of assets, tax filings or general trust valuations. Using an independent Probate Referee for such matters helps relieve the Trustee of potential conflicts of interest or liability for errors.
Probate Referees have served the courts, attorneys and the public for over 60 years. The Probate Referee is an Officer of the Court appointed by the California State Controller. Before appointment the Probate Referee must pass a state administered test on probate and appraisal principles plus he is required to attend annual continuing education classes on the valuation process. Probate Referees values are widely accepted by judges and the IRS as fair, accurate and impartial values. The California Probate Referees Association of over 120 Referees in 58 California counties provides a unique network of local experts for all asset valuation assignments.
We look forward to serving you.
California Probate Referees' Association