What If Probate Is Not Required?
There are many situations where an estate does not require probate, including estates under $100,000.00, estates in trust, and those cases where all of the estate passes to a surviving spouse. Even when probate is not required, however, some sort of legal process is often necessary. This is especially true when an estate owns an interest in real property. Legal counsel is recommended if you have any questions regarding estate matters.
Must I Attend Court to Inherit a Deceased Person's Property?
Not always. If you have the legal right to inherit personal property, like money in a bank account or stocks, the entire estate is worth $100,000 or less, and there is no real property (land) in the estate you may not have to go to court. There is a simplified process that can sometimes be used to transfer the property to your name. This process generally cannot be used for real property like a house. The Affidavit Procedure for Collection or Transfer of Personal Property can be found in the Probate Code under Section §13100. Check with a qualified probate attorney as to whether this procedure is appropriate.
What Is a Trust?
The Court also hears disputes pertaining to living and testamentary trusts. The person(s) charged with administering the trust, called "trustees" are required to distribute assets as described in the trust instrument. The individuals who will benefit from the trust are called "beneficiaries."
Trustees, or beneficiaries, of the trust may petition the Court to remove the trustee, release assets held by the trustee, amend the trust instrument, appoint successor trustees, appoint receivers, notify creditors, and make other orders necessary to ensure the timely and appropriate distribution of the trust's assets. Check with a qualified attorney if you have questions or need advice on petitioning the court in a trust case.
Estates: Probate proceedings may be carried out by the court on small and large estates. Please consult an attorney, paralegal, or do some research at your local law library before filing.
Wills Lodged:Within 30 days after having knowledge of the death of a testator, the custodian shall present to the clerk of the court the original will to be lodged for safekeeping, unless a petition for probate of the will is earlier filed. (Probate Code Section 8200 .)
A conservatorship is a court proceeding to appoint someone to manage financial affairs and/or the personal care of one who is either physically or mentally unable to handle those affairs.
In order to access Probate Notes, you will need to create a free account on the Public Portal. Once logged into the portal, select "Probate Note Search" at the top and enter the Probate case number. If you would like to other documents from the probate case, please use the "Document Search" tab at the top menu of the portal. Document downloads are free.