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California probate is the court proceeding through which the estate of a decedent is administered and distributed. The court appoints and oversees a representative who is responsible for directing the administration of the estate: collecting the decedent’s assets, notifying all interested parties, paying outstanding debts, taxes and expenses, and ultimately, making distributions.

If the decedent died having made a Will, also called a "Last Will" or "Last Will and Testament", the court proceeding will prove the validity of the Will, so that the representative can carry out its directives. When the estate administration is complete and the probate is ready to be concluded, the court issues an Order directing the representative to distribute the remainder of the assets to the decedent’s heirs.


The process of Probate will include:

  • File a petition with the court to confirm the appropriate representative, either an "executor" or a "personal representative" to administer the estate

  • Provide notice to all creditors, heirs, and beneficiaries named in a Will

  • Take inventory of the estate’s assets

  • Pay the estate’s outstanding debts, taxes and expenses

  • Determine to whom the property should be transferred, in accordance with a will and/or interstate succession laws and per the method for transferring title 

  • File a final petition seeking the court’s approval of the representative’s administration of the estate, permission to pay any final expenses, and an order directing the distribution of the assets remaining in the estate. 


Navigating the probate process alone is in itself stressful and there may be delays which could be avoided. Our team of experienced attorneys, with their comprehensive knowledge of the probate process, will work diligently, to ensure that your case is efficiently and properly handled, alleviating hardship at your time of loss.  

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