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Single Mother Fights to Serve as Personal Representative in High Profile Case

     The California Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a single mother who petitioned to serve as personal representative of her late partner, Charles David Lewis Jr. in May of 2010.  Petitioner, Diane Larson was the mother of the decedent's two children, who are the sole heirs. Larson petitioned to be appointed as the minors' sole guardian and initially proposed that she be bonded in the amount of $10,000, later changing this amount of $750,000.  

     The California Court of Appeals held that the Superior Court abused its discretion under the California Probate Code section 8464 by appointing a public administrator to act as the decedent's personal representative in place of Larson.  The Appellate Court agreed with Larson's argument that the court misconstrued the extent of its discretion under California Probate Code section 8464.  The Appellate Court held section 8464 granted discretion to appoint "only the guardian or another person in the same class of priority as the guardian," not discretion to appoint another person in a lower class. If you live in the California area and would like more information on probate you should consult with a Los Angeles probate attorney.
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