• California Probate Forms

California Probate Forms

Looking for California Probate forms? This article will give you links to common forms to probate an estate in California. You will also learn where you can get free and low-cost probate forms for many types of cases. Unfortunately, filling out probate forms can be overwhelming. Consider contacting A People’s Choice, a low-cost, non-attorney option with over 35 years of experience preparing and filing California probate forms. Read on to learn more about the probate forms necessary to settle various types of small estates as well as the forms required for a complete probate.

California Probate Forms Small Estate

There are three small estate processes in California that allow a decedent’s beneficiaries to settle estates valued under $150,000.

1. Non-Court Affidavit Process for Estates Valued Under $150,000 (Without Real Property)

California Probate Code section 13100 discusses the process of how to settle an estate in California if the decedent did not own real property and had personal assets under $150,000. Under this section of the probate code, an affidavit can be submitted to the institution holding the decedent’s personal property in order to transfer the assets to the proper beneficiary without having to go through a formal court probate process. The affidavit must be notarized. In addition, a death certificate must be submitted with the affidavit to the institution holding the decedent’s personal property.

2. Court Process for Estates Valued Under $50,000 (Includes Real Property)

If the decedent owned real property but the total value of the decedent’s real and personal property is less than $50,000, the beneficiaries can file an Affidavit regarding Real Property of Small Value. In this type of proceeding, the following forms must be filed with the court:

  1. California Probate Form DE-305 (Affidavit)
  2. California Probate Form DE-160 (Inventory and Appraisal)
  3. California Probate Form DE-161 (Inventory and Appraisal Attachment)

No hearing is required when settling a decedent’s estate under this small estate process.

3. Small Estates with Real Property Under $150,000

California law requires small estates with real property valued over $50,000 but under $150,000 to be transferred by a court order. This process can be jointly filed by all beneficiaries and requires a hearing to settle the transfer of real property. The following forms must be submitted to settle the estate using this small estate procedure:

  1. California Probate Form DE-310 (Petition to Determine Succession to Real Property)
  2. California Probate Form DE-160 (Inventory and Appraisal)
  3. California Probate Form DE-161 (Inventory and Appraisal Attachment)
  4. California Probate Form DE-120 (Notice of Hearing)
  5. California Probate Form DE-315 (Order on Petition to Determine Succession to Real Property)

As mentioned above, a hearing is required when settling a decedent’s estate under this small estate process.

California Probate Forms Spousal Property Petition

A spousal property petition allows a surviving spouse or registered domestic partner to transfer or confirm property to the surviving spouse using a simplified probate proceeding. The proceeding usually requires one court appearance and settles questions of title or ownership regarding the surviving spouse’s interest in the decedent’s property. To begin the process, the surviving spouse or registered domestic partner must complete and file the following documents:

  1. California Probate Form DE-221 (Spousal or Domestic Partner Property Petition)
  2. California Probate Form DE-226 (Spousal or Domestic Partner Property Order
  3. California Probate Form DE-120 (Notice of Hearing)

A copy of the decedent’s will and a copy of his/her death certificate must be attached to the petition. A hearing is required when settling a decedent’s estate under this small estate process.

California Probate Forms Complete Probate

For estates valued greater than $150,000, the following forms are needed to initiate a full probate in California:

  1. California Probate Form DE-111 (Petition for Probate)
    1. Submit the original will along with this form in addition to the following forms:
      1. California Probate Form DE-135 (Proof of Holographic Instrument)
      2. California Probate Form DE-131 (Proof of Subscribing Witness)
      3. California Probate Form DE-142 (Waiver of Bond By Heir or Beneficiary)
      4. California Probate Form DE-147S (Confidential Supplement)
  2. California Probate Form DE-121 (Notice of Petition to Administer Estate)
  3. California Probate Form DE-147 (Duties and Liabilities of Personal Representative)
  4. California Probate Form DE-140 (Order for Probate)
  5. California Probate Form DE-150 (Letters)

Once the Order for Probate has been entered and Letters issued, the following forms will be required to complete the probate process.

  1. Notice to Franchise Tax Board (Not a judicial council form. This is a custom pleading).
  2. California Probate Form DE-160 (Inventory and Appraisal)
  3. California Probate Form DE-161 (Inventory and Appraisal Attachment)
  4. California Probate Form DE 120 (Notice of Hearing of Petition For Final Distribution)
  5. Petition for Final Distribution (Not a judicial council form. This is a custom pleading).
  6. Beneficiary Receipts (Not a judicial council form. This is a custom pleading).
  7. California Probate Form DE – 295 (Ex Parte Petition for Final Discharge)

Where to Obtain California Probate Forms

Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to get California probate forms. In addition, California probate forms can be obtained from the following sources:

  1. Local courthouse website
  2. Local self-help center
  3. Online California state website
  4. Local county courthouse website
  5. Probate service provider such as A People’s Choice

Keep in mind that not all required probate documents are judicial council forms. Some necessary documents are custom pleadings and usually require expert help to prepare them. This is, in large part, due to local county court rules regarding the formatting of pleadings and the knowledge and experience required to properly prepare them.

Free California Probate Forms

Most of the sources above provide free judicial council California probate forms. Remember, some documents that may be required do not have a “form” and must be custom prepared from scratch on court pleading paper. There may also be a difference between using mandatory county local forms and the judicial council forms. You should not have to pay for any California judicial council probate forms as they are always free through the California Court’s main website.

Low Cost Probate Forms Help

Did you know you don’t need an attorney to file probate in California?  Contact A People’s Choice for low-cost help preparing California probate forms. We provide legal document preparation services for probate filings in all California court jurisdictions. Call 1-800-747-2780 to speak with us.

Get help with your California legal documents today!

A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your legal documents instead of an expensive attorney!

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By | 2018-01-18T15:47:18+00:00 October 22nd, 2015|Probate|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

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