Do you need to file probate in Santa Barbara County? At A People’s Choice, we can help you file a Santa Barbara County probate and save the estate thousands of dollars in the process. You have probably discovered that hiring a Santa Barbara probate attorney is very expensive. This is in large part due to the statutory fees probate attorneys in Santa Barbara are allowed to charge their clients. What is even more upsetting is that the level of effort involved in representing a client does not negate less or more fees. Instead, fees are based on the gross value of the estate. For example, an attorney will earn a substantially higher fee for probating an estate valued at $900,000 in comparison to an estate worth $500,000, even if it’s the same amount of work.
Probate an Estate in Santa Barbara County
The Santa Barbara Probate Clerk’s office handles decedents’ estates, the guardianship of minors, and conservatorships of adults. Probate matters are heard in both the South County and North County locations which are:
• South County
Santa Barbara Superior Court
1100 Anacapa Street
P.O. Box 21107
Santa Barbara, CA 93121-1107
• North County
Santa Barbara Superior Court
312-C East Cook Street
P.O. Box 5369
Santa Maria, CA 93456-5369
Tips to File Probate in Santa Barbara County
You must file the Petition for Probate in the division located nearest to where the decedent resided or owned property. Therefore, depending on where the decedent resided, the case will either be filed in Santa Maria or Santa Barbara. Furthermore, there are different filing options depending on the size of the decedent’s estate. A smaller estate may not need to have a full probate filed. Contact us for more information about the various options to file probate in Santa Barbara County.
Some counties have specific procedures in filing probate petitions, and filing probate in Santa Barbara County is no different. You should review the Santa Barbara County local rules for guidance on what forms you should file to commence as well as finalize the probate process. Our experience and expertise in filing probate in Santa Barbara has accumulated over 35 years so we will make it easier for you to get through the probate process as well.
Once the Petitioner files for probate, he/she will have to perform many tasks, one of which is publishing notice of the proceeding in an adjudicated legal newspaper for Santa Barbara county. Another task involves locating and itemizing the decedent’s assets and debts. An appraisal of non-cash assets will be required to be completed by a Santa Barbara probate referee. You can find a list of approved referees that cover Santa Barbara on the court’s website. The probate process also requires the personal representative to notify all interested creditors and beneficiaries, pay any outstanding estate taxes, and distribute the decedent’s property to beneficiaries upon the conclusion of probate.
The Santa Barbara probate court offers limited access to the case docket through an online portal. Tentative rulings can also be accessed through the court’s website as well as the probate examiner’s probate notes.
The probate process can last up to one year in California, depending on the nature of the estate’s assets. When looking for help to file probate in Santa Barbara County, consider contacting A People’s Choice for legal document preparation help. We can help you complete all the required forms to file probate, file your forms with the court clerk, and help you manage the probate process. Despite common beliefs, you do not have to hire a probate attorney to administer your loved one’s estate. You can save yourself thousands of dollars by working with a legal document assistant. Call us today at 800-747-2780.
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