The legal process for a California probate starts when a Petition for Probate is filed at the court. When the Petition for Probate is filed at the Superior Court having jurisdiction, a case number is assigned and a date for a hearing is set. At the hearing, an executor or administrator is named and given authority to manage the estate until after the estate assets are distributed. Notices are given, the business of identifying and managing the property, and the payment of expenses and taxes are made until the time that an order is made to distribute the assets to the heirs or beneficiaries. After the distribution, the case can be closed. This cannot be done before 7 months, but usually longer, depending on the complexity of the case. Here is a summary of the steps taken to complete a Probate in California:

  1. Petition for Probate is filed. Original Will is received by the court.
  2. Petition to Administer Estate is published in a court approved adjudicated newspaper.
  3. Notice of Hearing and Petition to Administer Estate are mailed to heirs or beneficiaries. Proof of mailing is filed at the court.
  4. Attend the first court hearing for the appointment of the personal representative.
  5. Notify the FTB and other interested public entities.
  6. Inventory & Appraisal, using the probate referee if necessary.
  7. Obtain an EIN through the IRS
  8. Open an interest bearing estate account.
  9. Pay debts and expenses.
  10. Sell real estate, unless it will be transferred to the heirs or beneficiaries.
  11. File and pay taxes.
  12. Petition for Final Distribution is filed.
  13. Notice of Hearing is mailed to heirs or beneficiaries and all interested parties. Proof of mailing is filed at the court.
  14. Order for Distribution is filed.
  15. Estate assets are distributed.
  16. Receipts and Discharge of Personal Representative is filed. The case is closed.

This is only a basic outline of a simple uncontested process for a California probate. For legal advice or representation, please contact a probate attorney.

If you are starting a Probate you can contact our team for the current and specific costs for your Riverside County Probate filing including court fees and third party fees. We have been assisting clients in Riverside County with their Probate filings since 1996. Use our contact form here or view our phone numbers for our different locations.