“In Probate, you won’t survive selling a home without a lot of help from an experienced Probate attorney, in addition to a real estate agent who’s an expert in your local probate rules and procedures (yes, you need both an agent and an attorney).”
Debts and taxes owed by the Estate are both liabilities however they are handled quite differently from one another in the Probate process. While taxes must be paid from available assets of the Estate, the Personal Representative needs to be cognizant and should not pay unsecured debts until a claim is timely filed in the Probate Proceeding. Showing preference in paying debts can turn into a big mess.
Who owes the Estate money? What duty does the Personal Representative have to collect debts owed? Part of Marshalling the Estate includes identifying, pursuing, and timely collecting on valid debts of the Estate. Unpaid loan balances, Pending litigation, Judgments in civil lawsuits, Unlawful detainer matters, and Advancements on inheritances, all are common examples…
According to Probate Code §9650, the Personal Representative has a right to, and shall take possession or control of, all the property of a deceased person's estate. As well, the Personal Representative has a right to collect all debts that are due to the deceased person (or the deceased person's estate).
The term "Marshalling" is a technical one- it means to collect, to organize and to inventory all assets. Really this is one of the most important jobs in the Probate process.
By filing the Petition for Probate, a formal proceeding will commence. So then, what happens next? If you’ve retained a Probate Attorney, he or she will take on some preliminary administrative tasks to ensure that the proposed personal representative, e.g. an Executor or Administrator as dictated by the circumstances, is successfully appointed at the scheduled hearing.