California Probate Form DE-147

Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative

Everything you need to know about California Form DE-147, including helpful tips, fast facts & deadlines, how to fill it out, where to submit it and other related CA probate forms.

(231 ratings)
Hand holding a pen filling out the form
Purple Circle Background

About Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative

There are all sorts of forms executors, beneficiaries, and probate court clerks have to fill out and correspond with during probate and estate settlement, including affidavits, letters, petitions, summons, orders, and notices.

Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative is a commonly used form within California. Here’s an overview of what the form is and means, including a breakdown of the situations when (or why) you may need to use it:

Explains the duties of a personal representative of an estate (the executor of the deceased person’s will or the administrator appointed by the court to manage the estate of a deceased person who did not have a will) and what can happen if a personal representative does not fulfill those duties. People who have asked the court to be appointed as a personal representative also use this to tell the court they have received a copy of Duties and Liabilities of Personal Representative (DE-147).

Atticus Fast Facts About Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative

Sometimes it’s tough to find a quick summary— here’s the important details you should know about Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative:

  • This form pertains to the State of California

Government forms are not typically updated often, though when they are, it often happens rather quietly. While Atticus works hard to keep this information about California’s Form DE-147 - Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative up to date, certain details can change from time-to-time with little or no communication.

How to file Form DE-147

Step 1 - Download the correct California form based on the name and ID if applicable

Double check that you have both the correct form name and the correct form ID. Some California probate forms can look remarkably similar, so it’s best to double, even triple-check that you’re using the right one! Keep in mind that not all States have a standardized Form ID system for their probate forms.

Step 2 - Complete the Document

Fill out all relevant fields in Form DE-147, take a break, and then review. Probate and estate settlement processes in CA are long enough to begin with, and making a silly error can push your timeline even farther back. No thank you!

Note: If you don’t currently know all of the answers and are accessing Form DE-147 online, be sure to avoid closing the browser tab and potentially losing all your progress (or use a platform like Atticus to help avoid making mistakes).

Step 3 - Have Form DE-147 witnessed or notarized (if required)

Some States and situations require particular forms to be notarized. If you have been instructed to get the document notarized or see it in writing on the document, then make sure to hire a local notary. There are max notary fees in the United States that are defined and set by local law. Take a look at our full guide to notary fees to make sure you aren’t overpaying or getting ripped off.

Step 4 - Submit Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative to the relevant office

This is most often the local probate court where the decedent (person who passed away) is domiciled (permanently resides) or the institution involved with this particular form (e.g. a bank). Some offices allow you to submit forms online, other’s don’t, and we while we generally recommend going in-person to expedite the process, sometimes that simply isn’t an option.

It’s also a generally good idea to establish a positive working relationship with any probate clerk (unfortunately there’s enough people & process out there making things more difficult and unnecessarily confusing for them), so a best practice is to simply ask the probate clerk proactively exactly how and where they’d prefer you to submit all forms.

Need help getting in touch with a local probate court or identifying a domicile probate jurisdiction?

👉 Find and Contact your Local Probate Court

👉 What is a Domicile Jurisdiction?

Atticus DIY Probate & Estate Settlement App Image

Sponsored by Atticus App

Need help with California Probate?

Join all the other families who have trusted Atticus through probate, and experience the peace that comes from knowing you're taking the right steps, spending the least amount of money, and not wasting a single second.

Start for free

When Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative is due

Different probate forms or processes can require different deadlines or response times for completing the appropriate form.

While some steps in the process are bound to specific deadlines (like petitioning for probate, having to submit an inventory of assets, or filing applicable notices to creditors and beneficiaries), many probate forms or processes are not tied to a specific deadline since the scope of work can vary based on situational factors or requirements involved.

Either way, there are a bunch of practical reasons why personal representatives should work to complete each step as thoroughly and quickly as possible when completing probate in California.

5 reasons you should submit DE-147 as quickly as possible:

  1. The sooner you begin, the faster California can allow heirs and beneficiaries to get their share of assets subject to probate. Acting promptly can also decrease the costs & overall mental fatigue through an otherwise burdensome process.

    Helpful Context: What’s the Difference Between Probate and Non-Probate Assets?

  2. In general, creditors of an estate usually have around 3-6 months from the time you file notice to creditors to file any claims for debt against the deceased’s assets. If they don’t, then that debt is forfeited (and more importantly, the executor won’t be held personally responsible). So doing this sooner means you have a better idea of who is owed what and ensures you won’t get a surprise collector months later.

  3. Not filing a will within 30 days (on average) could mean that the probate process proceeds according to intestate laws (laws that govern what happens to someone's stuff without a will) or is subject to unnecessary supervision by the probate court. And if you aren't directly related to the deceased (a.k.a. next of kin), this could also mean you lose your inheritance.

  4. It’s important to file any necessary state tax returns on behalf of the deceased or estate by the following tax season in California. If you don’t, you could owe penalties and interest. This also includes any necessary federal tax returns such as Forms 1040, 1041, or even a Form 706 estate tax return.

  5. If a house in the State of California is left empty (or abandoned) for a while, insurance can get dicey. For example, if the house burns down and no one has been there for a year, an insurance company may get out of paying your claim.

If you’re not using Atticus to get specific forms, deadlines, and timelines for California probate, then try and stay as organized as possible, pay close attention to the dates mentioned in any correspondence you have with the State’s government officials, call the local California probate clerk or court for exact answers regarding Form DE-147, and when in doubt— consult a qualified trust & estates lawyer for that area.

How to Download, Open, and Edit Form DE-147 Online

Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative is one of the many probate court forms available for download through Atticus.

It may also be available through some California probate court sites, such as . In order to access the latest version, be updated with any revisions, and get full instructions on how to complete each form, check out the Atticus Probate & Estate Settlement software or consider hiring a qualified legal expert locally within California.

While Atticus automatically provides the latest forms, be sure to choose the correct version of Form DE-147 - Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative f using any other site or resource in order to avoid having to re-complete the form process and/or make another trip to the California probate court office.

Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative is a .pdf, so opening it should be as simple as clicking “View Form” from within the Atticus app or by clicking the appropriate link found on any California-provided government platform. Once you’ve opened the form, you should be able to directly edit the form before saving or printing.

Purple Lightbulb Icon

Did you know?

  • Form DE-147 - Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative is a probate form in California.

  • Explains the duties of a personal representative of an estate (the executor of the deceased person’s will or the administrator appointed by the court to manage the estate of a deceased person who did not have a will) and what can happen if a personal representative does not fulfill those duties. People who have asked the court to be appointed as a personal representative also use this to tell the court they have received a copy of Duties and Liabilities of Personal Representative (DE-147).

  • California has multiple types of probate and the necessary forms depend on the unique aspects of each estate, such as type and value of assets, whether there was a valid will, who is serving as the personal representative or executor, and even whether or not they also live in California.

  • During probate, all personal representatives and executives in are required to submit a detailed inventory of assets that must separate non-probate assets from probate assets.

  • Probate in California, especially without guidance, can take years to finish and cost upwards of $14,000.

Frequently Asked Questions about Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative

Explains the duties of a personal representative of an estate (the executor of the deceased person’s will or the administrator appointed by the court to manage the estate of a deceased person who did not have a will) and what can happen if a personal representative does not fulfill those duties. People who have asked the court to be appointed as a personal representative also use this to tell the court they have received a copy of Duties and Liabilities of Personal Representative (DE-147).

Probate is the government’s way of making sure that when a person dies, the right stuff goes to the right people (including the taxes the government wants).

All of that stuff is collectively known as someone’s “estate”, and it’s the job of the executor or personal representative to fill out all the forms and complete all the required steps to formally dissolve the estate. 

To get instant clarity on the entire probate process and get an idea of the steps, timeline, and best practices, read the Atticus Beginner’s Guide to Probate

The best place? Create an account in Atticus to start getting estate-specific advice. 

You may need a lawyer, you may not, and paying for one when you didn’t need it really hurts. Atticus makes sure you make  the best decisions (plus you can write it off as an executor expense).

We’ve also created a list of other probate services. Be sure to check it out!

An executor is named in someone’s will, and if the deceased didn’t have a will, then the spouse or other close family relative usually steps up to fulfill the role. If no one wants to do it, then a judge will appoint someone. 

The executor is responsible for the complete management of the probate process, including major responsibilities such as:

  • Creating an inventory of all probate assets.

  • Filling out all necessary forms

  • Paying off all estate debts and taxes

  • Submitting reports to the court and beneficiaries as requested

And much more. This process often stretches longer than a year. 

For an idea of what separates executors who succeed from those who make this way harder than it should be, visit our article, Executors of an Estate:
What they do & secrets to succeeding

The Exact Text on Form DE-147

Here’s the text, verbatim, that is found on California Form DE-147 - Duties And Liabilities Of Personal Representative. You can use this to get an idea of the context of the form and what type of information is needed.

DUTIES AND LIABILITIES OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE When the court appoints you as personal representative of an estate, you become an officer of the court and assume certain duties and obligations. An attorney is best qualified to advise you about these matters. You should understand the following: MANAGING THE ESTATE'S ASSETS Prudent investments You must manage the estate assets with the care of a prudent person dealing with someone else's property. This means that you must be cautious and may not make any speculative investments. Keep estate assets separate You must keep the money and property in this estate separate from anyone else's, including your own. When you open a bank account for the estate, the account name must indicate that it is an estate account and not your personal account. Never deposit estate funds in your personal account or otherwise mix them with your or anyone else's property. Securities in the estate must also be held in a name that shows they are estate property and not your personal property. Interest-bearing accounts and other investments Except for checking accounts intended for ordinary administration expenses, estate accounts must earn interest. You may deposit estate funds in insured accounts in financial institutions, but you should consult with an attorney before making other kinds of investments. Other restrictions There are many other restrictions on your authority to deal with estate property. You should not spend any of the estate's money unless you have received permission from the court or have been advised to do so by an attorney. You may reimburse yourself for official court costs paid by you to the county clerk and for the premium on your bond. Without prior order of the court, you may not pay fees to yourself or to your attorney, if you have one. If you do not obtain the court's permission when it is required, you may be removed as personal representative or you may be required to reimburse the estate from your own personal funds, or both. You should consult with an attorney concerning the legal requirements affecting sales, leases, mortgages, and investments of estate property. INVENTORY OF ESTATE PROPERTY Locate the estate's property Determine the value of the property You must arrange to have a court-appointed referee determine the value of the property unless the appointment is waived by the court. You, rather than the referee, must determine the value of certain cash items. An attorney can advise you about how to do this. File an inventory and appraisal Within four months after Letters are first issued to you as personal representative, you must file with the court an inventory and appraisal of all the assets in the estate. DUTIES AND LIABILITIES OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE (Probate) Form Adopted for Mandatory Use Judicial Council of California DE-147 [Rev. January 1, 2002] Probate Code, § 8404 You must attempt to locate and take possession of all the decedent's property to be administered in the estate. DE-147 a. b. c. d. a. b. c. Page 1 of 2 SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF BRANCH NAME: CITY AND ZIP CODE: STREET ADDRESS: MAILING ADDRESS: ESTATE OF (Name): DECEDENT FOR COURT USE ONLY CASE NUMBER: DUTIES AND LIABILITIES OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE and Acknowledgment of Receipt 1. 2. ATTORNEY OR PARTY WITHOUT ATTORNEY (Name, State Bar number, and address): TELEPHONE NO.: FAX NO. (Optional): E-MAIL ADDRESS (Optional): ATTORNEY FOR (Name): CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION: If required to do so by local court rule, you must provide your date of birth and driver's license number on supplemental Form DE-147S. (Prob. Code, § 8404(b).) NOTICE: File a change of ownership At the time you file the inventory and appraisal, you must also file a change of ownership statement with the county recorder or assessor in each county where the decedent owned real property at the time of death, as provided in section 480 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code. NOTICE TO CREDITORS You must mail a notice of administration to each known creditor of the decedent within four months after your appointment as personal representative. If the decedent received Medi-Cal assistance, you must notify the State Director of Health Services within 90 days after appointment. INSURANCE You should determine that there is appropriate and adequate insurance covering the assets and risks of the estate. Maintain the insurance in force during the entire period of the administration. Keep accounts You must keep complete and accurate records of each financial transaction affecting the estate. You will have to prepare an account of all money and property you have received, what you have spent, and the date of each transaction. You must describe in detail what you have left after the payment of expenses. Court review Your account will be reviewed by the court. Save your receipts because the court may ask to review them. If you do not file your accounts as required, the court will order you to do so. You may be removed as personal representative if you fail to comply. CONSULTING AN ATTORNEY If you have an attorney, you should cooperate with the attorney at all times. You and your attorney are responsible for completing the estate administration as promptly as possible. When in doubt, contact your attorney. This statement of duties and liabilities is a summary and is not a complete statement of the law. Your conduct as a personal representative is governed by the law itself and not by this summary. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT I have petitioned the court to be appointed as a personal representative. DUTIES AND LIABILITIES OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE (Probate) Page 2 of 2 DE-147 [Rev. January 1, 2002] RECORD KEEPING d. a. b. If you fail to perform your duties or to meet the deadlines, the court may reduce your compensation, remove you from office, and impose other sanctions. 2. I acknowledge that I have received a copy of this statement of the duties and liabilities of the office of personal representative. My address and telephone number are (specify): 3. 4. 5. 6. 1. 1. 2. 3. CASE NUMBER: (SIGNATURE OF PETITIONER) (SIGNATURE OF PETITIONER) ESTATE OF (Name): DECEDENT Date: (TYPE OR PRINT NAME) Date: (TYPE OR PRINT NAME) Print this formSave this formClear this form For your protection and privacy, please press the Clear This Form button after you have printed the form.

Get Your Probate Forms

Need help finding the rest of your California Probate forms?

Atticus has probate and estate settlement forms for your State.