REOPENING A DECEDENT ESTATE
Note: The Court is prohibited by law (Sec. 1211 of the Estates and Protected Individuals Code [EPIC]) from providing legal advice and completing forms. This item provides general information concerning the opening of a decedent’s estate and may be useful as a guide. If you have any questions, consider contacting an attorney for assistance.
PC 607, Application\Petition to Reopen a Decedent Estate
PC 561*, Waiver and Consent
PC 570*, Bond of Fiduciary
PC 571, Acceptance of Appointment
*Forms may or may not be needed depending on the facts.
Filing Fee - $150.00
Note: For additional information, see Administering a Decedent’s Estate under Probate Frequently Asked Questions.
A decedent estate case may have to be re-opened for a variety of reasons. These could include:
- After discovered assets (i.e., new property, such as stocks, bonds, real estate) found after the estate was closed.
- The estate was improperly closed without the administration being completed (i.e., property not deeded to the heirs, etc.).
An Application to reopen estate can be filed by any interested person, including the prior personal representative.
A Petition to reopen estate can be filed by any interested person, including the prior personal representative.
Note: If the case was closed as a supervised estate, only a petition to reopen requesting supervised administration may be filed.
1. To determine if the decedent had a will that was not offered for probate in the previous administration. If they did, copies must be given to all interested persons. Either consents from all interested persons must be filed or a hearing must be conducted so the Judge can determine whether the will is valid.
2. Gather the estate’s newly discovered assets and determine what they are worth. This includes obtaining appraisals, if necessary.
Within 91 days of being appointed, the personal representative for an estate reopened in supervised administration is required to file a Supplemental Inventory with the court listing all the decedent’s newly discovered assets. For unsupervised administration, the personal representative must provide all interested persons with a Supplemental Inventory within 91 days.
3. Determine if there are any unpaid taxes, including inheritance/estate tax.
4. The estate’s assets must be preserved and distributed to the heirs according to the will, or if none, by the laws of intestate succession. If you improperly distribute assets without leaving enough in the estate to pay taxes, you may be personally responsible for coming up with the difference.
5. The personal representative must keep careful records of all income of the estate and all disbursements of the estate’s funds. The personal representative must keep the estate’s assets separate and never “borrow” from them.
6. The estate must be reclosed within 1 year from the day it is reopened.
7. In supervised administration, file a Petition for Complete Estate Settlement, Schedule of Distribution, and Final Account when the reopened estate is closed. Signed consents from all interested persons or a hearing is required to grant the petition.
The Account must list receipts (monies in) and disbursements (monies out). Save your receipts; one must be presented to the court for each disbursement. In unsupervised administration the Accounts do not have to be filed with the Court, but they must still be served on interested persons.
8. Ensure that all taxes on the estate are paid. You must also see that the decedent’s final federal, state and city income taxes are paid and the returns filed.
If you have questions that this pamphlet did not answer, please seek legal advice from an attorney. By law, court employees are not permitted to give legal advice.
They can be obtained in person or by mailing a request to:
Attn: Certified Desk
1307 Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
If the request is mailed in, the court will send you a bill.