The word "Probate" means the proving of a will. The Probate process more generally refers to the resolution of an estate, whether or not there is a will, and involves identifying the property of a decedent, notifying creditors, paying obligations and taxes, and then distributing the remaining property to appropriate beneficiaries.
Do I need to File for Probate?
Not all estates are required to go through the Probate process. Estates below a certain total value may qualify for expedited resolution under California law. We can assist you to resolve these estates more quickly and cost-effectively than going through the full Probate process. Contact us to discuss the specifics of your situation.
What Do I Need to Get Started?
Decedent's Will - If the decedent had a Will, then the original Will is needed to lodge with the court. It is not a problem if no Will exists, or if it is unknown whether the decedent had a Will. You can still start the Probate process.
Death Certificate - It is generally a good idea to have a few 'original' copies of the death certificate. The court may require a copy of the death certificate to be included with your initial filing.