California Probate Code

Sec. § 9651


(a)

A personal representative who in good faith takes into possession real or personal property, and reasonably believes that the property is part of the estate of the decedent, is not:

(1)

Criminally liable for so doing.

(2)

Civilly liable to any person for so doing.

(b)

The personal representative shall make reasonable efforts to determine the true nature of, and title to, the property so taken into possession.

(c)

During his or her possession, the personal representative is entitled to receive all rents, issues, and profits of the property. If the property is later determined not to be part of the estate of the decedent, the personal representative shall deliver the property, or cause it to be delivered, to the person legally entitled to it, together with all rents, issues, and profits of the property received by the personal representative, less any expenses incurred in protecting and maintaining the property and in collecting rents, issues, and profits. The personal representative may request court approval before delivering the property pursuant to this subdivision.

(d)

The court may allow the personal representative reasonable compensation for services rendered in connection with the duties specified in this section as to property later determined not to be part of the estate of the decedent, if the court makes one of the following findings:

(1)

The services were of benefit to the estate. If the court makes this finding, the compensation and the expenses and costs of litigation, including attorney’s fees of the attorney hired by the personal representative to handle the matter, are a proper expense of administration.

(2)

The services were essential to preserve, protect, and maintain the property. If the court makes this finding, the court shall award compensation and the expenses and costs of litigation, including attorney’s fees of the attorney hired by the personal representative to handle the matter, as an expense deductible from the rents, issues, and profits received by the personal representative, or, if these are insufficient, as a lien against the property.
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Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016