A Small Estates Affidavit contains certain declarations under oath about:
1. The death of the resident
2. The legal heirs
3. The value of the estate
4. Other items required by the probate code section that authorizes its use
However, if an heir has been appointed as a representative of the estate by the court, he or she will receive a document, issued by the court, described above as “Letters of Administration”. That document will, among other things, contain the signature of a judge and a stamp from the court showing it has been issued and filed. Most importantly, it will identify the individual(s) who have been given the authority by the court to act on behalf of the estate, and the powers granted to that individual.
Then, and only then, can you rest assured that you are now dealing with the proper person(s) who have the authority to act on behalf of the estate.
For more information, contact Mobilehome Park Attorney Tamara Cross today.
Who Should You (as the Mobilehome Community Owner) Deal With Regarding the Decedent’s Estate (Continued)?
However, in the case of a supposed heir or personal representative, your inquiry does not stop upon mere verification of death. Once you have verified or established that the resident is dead, the question for you as the owner, regardless of whether the person has died with or without a will, is does that individual have authority to act or not. This would generally require an official court document, typically known as “Letters of Administration”, depending on the particular county. A possible exception to this, is something frequently referred to as a “Small Estates Affidavit”. This document, which is executed under oath, can be used in certain situations (which are specified in the probate code) and can allow for the release of personal property of the deceased pursuant to the statements in that declaration. There are specific requirements with regard to such affidavits, so it is recommended that you consult with legal counsel if you are presented with such a document.
Furthermore, the HCD allows an heir, after 40-days from the death of the resident, to fill out and file a form called “Certificate for Transfer Without Probate”. With this form, the heir signs an affidavit under oath, and if all requirements are met, the HCD will transfer title of the mobilehome into the individual’s name. Documentation reflecting that the HCD has transferred (or is transferring) title of the mobilehome to the heir/personal representation should also be suffi cient to prove authority to act.
In the absence of documents showing title has been transferred to the heir, joint tenant or personal representative, only the legally appointed representative of the estate with specific court ordered powers has the authority to act on behalf of the deceased. This includes the authority to sell the mobilehome or to enter the home and remove its contents.
Contact Tamara Cross at The Cross Law Firm, APC to discuss additional questions regarding the death of a resident in your mobilehome community.
Tamara Cross, Attorney at The Cross Law Firm, APC is presenting the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association’s (WMA) August 2011 MCM Seminar discussing pools, parking and other tricky issues that managers and owners of mobilehome parks throughout California face. The seminar will take place at the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley on Thursday, August 18, 2011.
From the WMA’s website:
“This seminar focuses on topics that demand a lot of attention from management. These are also the topics that can get management into the most trouble, namely discrimination. Make sure to attend this seminar to learn the do’s and don’ts when tackling these issues.
Six units of MCM credit can be earned upon passing the corresponding exam administered at the end of the seminar. Seminar hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lunch is included. “
Please visit our website for more information about California Mobilehome Park Attorney Tamara Cross.