8900. The appraisal of property in the inventory shall be made by
the personal representative, probate referee, or independent expert
as provided in this chapter.
8901. The personal representative shall appraise the following
property, excluding items whose fair market value is, in the opinion
of the personal representative, an amount different from the face
value of the property:
(a) Money and other cash items. As used in this subdivision, a
"cash item" is a check, draft, money order, or similar instrument
issued on or before the date of the decedent's death that can be
immediately converted to cash.
(b) The following checks issued after the date of the decedent's
(1) Checks for wages earned before death.
(2) Refund checks, including tax and utility refunds, and
Medicare, medical insurance, and other health care reimbursements and
(c) Accounts (as defined in Section 21) in financial institutions.
(d) Cash deposits and money market mutual funds, as defined in
subdivision (b) of Section 9730, whether in a financial institution
or otherwise, including a brokerage cash account. All other mutual
funds, stocks, bonds, and other securities shall be appraised
pursuant to Sections 8902 to 8909, inclusive.
(e) Proceeds of life and accident insurance policies and
retirement plans and annuities payable on death in lump sum amounts.
8902. Except as otherwise provided by statute:
(a) The personal representative shall deliver the inventory to the
probate referee designated by the court, together with necessary
supporting data to enable the probate referee to make an appraisal of
the property in the inventory to be appraised by the probate
(b) The probate referee shall appraise all property other than
that appraised by the personal representative.
8903. (a) The court may, for good cause, waive appraisal by a
probate referee in the manner provided in this section.
(b) The personal representative may apply for a waiver together
with the petition for appointment of the personal representative or
together with another petition, or may apply for a waiver in a
separate petition filed in the administration proceedings, but the
application may not be made later than the time the personal
representative delivers the inventory to the probate referee, if a
probate referee has been designated. A copy of the proposed inventory
and appraisal and a statement that sets forth the good cause that
justifies the waiver shall be attached to the petition.
(c) The hearing on the waiver shall be not sooner than 15 days
after the petition is filed. Notice of the hearing on the petition,
together with a copy of the petition and a copy of the proposed
inventory and appraisal, shall be given as provided in Section 1220
to all of the following persons:
(1) Each person listed in Section 1220.
(2) Each known heir whose interest in the estate would be affected
by the waiver.
(3) Each known devisee whose interest in the estate would be
affected by the waiver.
(4) The Attorney General, at the office of the Attorney General in
Sacramento, if any portion of the estate is to escheat to the state
and its interest in the estate would be affected by the waiver.
(5) The probate referee, if a probate referee has been designated.
(d) A probate referee to whom notice is given under this section
may oppose the waiver. If the opposition fails and the court
determines the opposition was made without substantial justification,
the court shall award litigation expenses, including reasonable
attorney's fees, against the probate referee. If the opposition
succeeds, the court may designate a different probate referee to
appraise property in the estate.
(e) If the petition is granted, the inventory and appraisal
attached to the petition shall be filed pursuant to Section 8800.
8904. (a) A unique, artistic, unusual, or special item of tangible
personal property that would otherwise be appraised by the probate
referee may, at the election of the personal representative, be
appraised by an independent expert qualified to appraise the item.
(b) The personal representative shall make the election provided
in subdivision (a) by a notation on the inventory delivered to the
probate referee indicating the property to be appraised by an
independent expert. The probate referee may, within five days after
delivery of the inventory, petition for a court determination whether
the property to be appraised by an independent expert is a unique,
artistic, unusual, or special item of tangible personal property. If
the petition fails and the court determines that the petition was
made without substantial justification, the court shall award
litigation expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees, against
the probate referee.
8905. A person who appraises property, whether a personal
representative, probate referee, or independent expert, shall sign
the appraisal as to property appraised by that person, and shall take
and subscribe an oath that the person has truly, honestly, and
impartially appraised the property to the best of the person's
8906. (a) At any time before the hearing on the petition for final
distribution of the estate, the personal representative or an
interested person may file with the court a written objection to the
(b) The clerk shall fix a time, not less than 15 days after the
filing, for a hearing on the objection.
(c) The person objecting shall give notice of the hearing,
together with a copy of the objection, as provided in Section 1220.
If the appraisal was made by a probate referee, the person objecting
shall also mail notice of the hearing and a copy of the objection to
the probate referee at least 15 days before the date set for the
(d) The person objecting to the appraisal has the burden of proof.
(e) Upon completion of the hearing, the court may make any orders
that appear appropriate. If the court determines the objection was
filed without reasonable cause or good faith, the court may order
that the fees of the personal representative and attorney and any
costs incurred for defending the appraisal be made a charge against
the person filing the objection.
8907. Neither the personal representative nor the attorney for the
personal representative is entitled to receive compensation for
extraordinary services by reason of appraising any property in the
8908. A probate referee who appraises property in the estate shall,
upon demand by the personal representative or by a beneficiary:
(a) Provide any appraisal report or backup data in the possession
of the probate referee used by the referee to appraise an item of
property. The probate referee shall not disclose any information that
is required by law to be confidential. The probate referee shall
provide the appraisal report or backup data without charge. The cost
of providing the appraisal report or backup data shall not be allowed
as an expense of appraisal but is included in the commission for
services of the probate referee.
(b) Justify the appraisal of an item of property if the appraisal
is contested, whether by objection pursuant to Section 8906, by tax
audit, or otherwise. The probate referee may be entitled to an
additional fee for services provided to justify the appraisal, to be
agreed upon by the personal representative or beneficiary and
referee. If the personal representative or beneficiary and the
probate referee are unable to agree, the court shall determine what
fee, if any, is appropriate.
8909. A probate referee who appraises property in an estate shall
retain possession of all appraisal reports and backup data used by
the referee to appraise the property for a period of three years
after the appraisal is filed. The probate referee shall, during the
three-year period, offer the personal representative the reports and
data used by the referee to appraise the property and deliver the
reports and data to the personal representative on request. Any
reports and data not requested by the personal representative may be
destroyed at the end of the three-year period without further notice.