California State Controller's seal

Probate Referees

The California State Controller appoints probate referees to perform reliable, prompt, and low-cost appraisal of all types of estate assets. The service of a probate referee is required for court resolution of an estate and also available for non-probate trust administration.

Prospective probate referees must pass a state-administered test on probate procedures and appraisal principles. The Controller then appoints at least one probate referee per county based on the recommendations of a panel of lawyers and judges who interview qualified candidates. Probate referees complete 15 hours of continuing education each year to stay up-to-date on current appraisal methods.