Asked in Probate for California

Q: Final order in probate cased signed and filed.

Now that the final order has been signed and filed in the court, what is the legal requirements and time frame for the executor to now distribute the funds to the beneficiaries which there are only 2, the executor and myself. Thank you.

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1 Lawyer Answer
David L. Crockett
David L. Crockett
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Hi, the law mandates distribution within a "reasonable time". There is no set number of days in which to do this because different circumstances dictate doing different things to accomplish the distribution. If you are not satisfied with the progress then you should write a letter, keep a copy, and send it certified mail return receipt so you can prove you made the demand. Do not rely on email requests.

If your demand does not cause a distribution, then you should file a court petition to compel distribution. It should not have to come to the filing of a petition but if there is no other way then you will have to do that. It it looks like there is going to be any trouble or unreasonable delay, then I advise that you immediately file a court petition to compel distribution because it takes so long for things to get to trial-maybe as long as a year- depending upon the county.

Also notify the bonding company of your demand for distribution if there is a probate bond. Failure to distribute can sometimes mean the money has been misappropriated by the executor in which case you might have a claim against the probate bond. If there is no bond, then you would still have the claim against the executor but if it comes to that it may be a long legal road to collection.

Good luck on this. I hope the money is still there and available for distribution.

David L. Crockett, attorney/CPA/Broker/Martindale Hubble AV preeminent rating.

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