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Out-of-State Executors and Administrators in California Probate

Out-of-state executors and administrators are common sources of probate questions in my practice. It is perfectly fine in most situations for an out-of-state family member or other person to perform the duties of the personal representative (also known as executor or administrator). Nonetheless, appointees are required to meet certain criteria to satisfy California probate court: Specifically, he or she must be a United States citizen, be over 18 years old, and his or her record must have zero felony convictions.

Contact me/us for questions about your qualifications to be a personal representative when residing outside California. I can answer all your questions about probate.

Learn the Differences Between an Administrator and an Executor of an Estate by Speaking with a Probate Attorney

Many people find the probate process confusing. This area of law often uses specific terms with little or no explanation of the duties of the role, including “administrator,” “executor” and “personal representative.”

These simple explanations will help:

  • An administrator is responsible for an estate when the deceased dies without a will.
  • An executor is someone specifically named in a will as the person charged with managing the estate.
  • “Personal representative” is increasingly a term used in substitution for both  “executor” and “administrator.”

My clients receive simple, inclusive understanding of the California probate process, including out-of-state or foreign wills and representatives, and any additional issues relevant to  their cases.

Bonding Issues in California Probate Law

Out-of-state personal representatives are required by most California counties to be bonded. ”Probate bond” and “fiduciary bond” mean the same thing and refer to the many types of court bond  that may be required for a person being appointed to act on another’s behalf.

Many representatives and beneficiaries wish to waive the bond. A will may directly waive requirement for the bond, but the probate court is not required to obey the instructions of the deceased in this matter. Especially when the personal representative resides in another state or country, the probate court can overrule direction in the will and require a surety bond.

This surety bond is intended to shield the deceased’s estate from fraud and other illegal acts. A personal representative has much power over an estate’s assets, to include the inventorying, appraisal,  then distribution of assets, plus paying off debts, and many other duties. During all of these responsibilities, the surety bond protects the beneficiaries, heirs and other parties from inappropriate or illegal acts by a personal representative.

T.S. Wrobel Law Group Is Here to Answer Your Questions About Out-of-State Probate

For an initial consultation, contact T.S. Wrobel Law Group to speak with Thomas Wrobel for your probate needs. Call (415) 928-4161 now for an initial consultation, or reach us by email at  We look forward to assisting you.