CEB Question of the Month: Death During Pending Litigation

Question: You file a breach of contract suit and begin negotiating with the defendant. You agree on a settlement, but the defendant dies before actually signing the settlement agreement. The defendant’s beneficiaries won’t be opening a probate, because there is less than $100k in assets. Under California law, what do you do?

Answer: You need to open a probate as an “interested person,” and then file a claim. For more on what to do in this situation, go to CEB’s California Trust Administration, §§10.82–10.86.

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