(a) When any real property escheats to the state after the lien date and is not distributed by description, either because it is unknown, or is included in a general distribution clause without description, or is property as to which no probate proceedings have been taken, all taxes levied upon the real property are valid and any tax sale for those taxes conveys the same title thereto as if no escheat had occurred, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. All those taxes levied upon the real property and tax sales duly taken pursuant to law occurring before the effective date of this section are hereby validated.
(b) If real property as described in subdivision (a) is discovered prior to tax sale by delivery to the tax collector of a certified death certificate, the public administrator of the county where the decedent resided at the time of death, and in the county in which the property is situated, if different, shall be notified of the decedents property that is subject to loss, injury, waste or misappropriation under Section 7600 of the Probate Code. The public administrator of the county where the decedent resided at the time of death shall take possession or control of the property under Section 7601 of Probate Code and conduct a probate investigation as authorized under Sections 7602 and 7603 of the Probate Code. Following the probate investigation, the public administrator shall do one of the following:
(1) If a person with a higher priority cannot be found to assume responsibility for the estate, the public administrator of the county where the decedent resided at the time of death shall immediately commence probate proceedings with respect to the property, and the tax sale may not be made. The probate proceedings may be summary proceedings, as authorized by Section 7660 of the Probate Code, or formal proceedings as authorized by Letters of Administration from the Superior Court under Section 7620 of the Probate Code. A tax sale may not be made until the probate process is completed.
(2) If a person with a higher priority cannot be found to assume responsibility for the estate, and the value of the estate will not cover the taxes, the secured liens, and the cost of probate, the public administrator of the county where the decedent resided at the time of death, as authorized by Section 7603 of Probate Code, shall notify the tax collector in writing that the public administrator has investigated the estate and has determined that the anticipated equity in the property after settlement of all secured liens and taxes does not warrant opening estate administration, at which time the tax sale may proceed.