To settle a California estate, the probate court will appoint someone to act as the estate’s personal representative. This person is usually named in a will, if there was a will. If there was no will, the heirs can decide who will petition to represent the estate. Once someone has been appointed by the court to act as the personal representative, the Court Clerk will issue Letters. These Letters serve as a type of “driver’s license” for the personal representative to be able to act on behalf of the decedent and decedent’s estate. A California court will only issue Letters in full probate cases, not small estate proceedings.