Estate Planning and Business Law
The Probate Process

Filing for Probate in California

San Ramon Probate Attorney Providing Legal Guidance

Probate is the process of legally validating a will of a deceased person and carrying out the necessary actions over his or her estate. There are many steps that are usually involved in the probate process, including ensuring that the estate is used to pay any outstanding debts to creditor, ensuring that assets are distributed to the appropriate beneficiaries and ensuring that actions outlined in the will are properly carried out. If a case needs to be handled in probate court, the person who has the will in his or her possession at the time of the death (or the custodian of the will) must follow certain steps in order to properly file a petition for probate. Our San Ramon estate planning attorneys at Santaella Jahangiri LLP have provided an overview of the steps that are required for such a filing.

How to File a Petition for Probate

If there is a will after the estate owner's death, the custodian of the will must start the probate process by taking a couple of actions, as outlined on the California Courts website. That person must take the original will to the clerk's office of the probate court within 30 days of the death. The individual must also make a copy of the will and send it to the executor. The custodian of the can be sued if he or she does not take these actions as required. The probate case is officially started once the "petitioner" files a Petition for Probate in the California County where the decedent either resided or owned property.

A few examples of the different options that are available for probate filings include the following: Petition for Probate of Will and for Letters of Testamentary, Petition for Probate of Will and for Letters of Administration with Will Annexed, and Petition for Letters of Administration. These are forms that allow the appropriate individual to distribute the estate. The person filing a probate case will also need to submit other forms, which is something a San Ramon probate attorney can help with.

What happens after the probate filing?

Once the probate case is successfully filed, a hearing date will be set by the clerk and additional actions will be required of the petitioner. The petition will need to notify the decedent's surviving family members of the hearing, as well as any other parties who may hold any interest in the estate. The petitioner will also need to take action to get the hearing notice published in a newspaper of general circulation. From there, further steps are taken for getting the paperwork reviewed, getting an administrator or executor assigned to the state, and getting the estate's assets and liabilities in order.

To learn more about the probate filing process, we advise you to contact a San Ramon probate lawyer from our firm for assistance.

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