• cheap probate options

Discover Cheap Probate Options in California

Here is a secret: Despite common belief, there are cheap probate options available in California and one of the best options is filing probate without an attorney!

This secret is not usually shared by attorneys as many of them will try to make potential clients fearful of filing probate without a lawyer. In fact, most estate executors can complete the probate process without legal representation if they have proper help.

Clearly, you should consult an attorney regarding the estate’s assets if heirs disagree over provisions of a will or if disputed creditors are involved. However, be aware that the California probate process requires little or no court appearances and matters set for hearing are, in most cases, pre-approved and routine.

A People’s Choice is a non-attorney legal document assistant. For over 37 years we have helped thousands of people successfully complete California probate.

As your probate coordinator, we not only prepare all the required paperwork, we also manage the case until the personal representative receives a final discharge. Using our services to probate your loved one’s estate in California allows you to complete probate for a fraction of the cost of what an attorney would charge you.  We provide many California residents with cheap probate options. Read on to learn more.

What our Clients Say...
“I can’t say enough about the level of service and professionalism I received working with A People’s Choice. Emails were always responded to quickly and thoughtfully. They really care about the process and helping you get the best result with no up-selling. Of course they can’t provide legal advice, but I was referred to an attorney when I needed some questions answered who was very reasonable and easy to get a hold of as well. The process played out according to plan and I ended up saving a lot of money by going with A People’s Choice over an attorney.”
M. Rice
“I am writing to give A People’s Choice my utmost recommendation. I live in New England and found them on the web. After speaking with a staff member on the phone I had the confidence to give them my business. A People’s Choice handled my probate case with great professionalism and knowledge. My case turned out to be more complicated than originally believed and the staff walked me through each step. They always responded promptly to my email questions. In the end, their service was exactly what I hoped for; they saved me thousands of dollars and allowed me to do it from across the country. They were truly a pleasure to work with.”
K. Levenson
“A People’s Choice helped us throughout our entire year-long probate making the process very easy and manageable while at the same time saving us thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees. Not only were they extremely friendly and fast to respond to our questions but they made the process simple enough that we hardly ever had to contact the courthouse directly and we even had a hearing done without an appearance. Would highly recommend A People’s Choice to anyone!”
A. Vuckovich
“A People’s Choice is a very responsible and effective company, staff there is very nice and replied to all my questions by email quickly. With their help, I accomplished the probate in 8 months successfully and saved at least $10,000.00 in attorney fees, so I strongly recommend everybody to contract with A People’s Choice and let them to help you with your legal documents. You will be very satisfied with their work as I did!!!!”
C. Chiu
“A People’s Choice walked me through the entire probate process. They are so professional and helpful. Thank you to the staff for your guidance and patience to talk me through such difficult time. You made the process very smooth for me. I am so glad that I found you.” 
Sandie K.
“The staff at A People’s Choice made a scary Probate pretty much stress free. I would send an email with a question I had thought of over the weekend with the expectation that I would get an answer on Monday. Lo and behold, I often got an answer within minutes! We are very pleased and will be referring our friends/family to A People’s Choice!”
L. Garrett
“Thanks to A People’s Choice I was able to get through a probate matter very smoothly. I had not one issue with the Courts. They guided me through the whole probate until the very end. I live up north but that didn’t matter, A People’s Choice did an excellent job keeping me informed with everything that I needed to do. I saved THOUSANDS of dollars by going with A People’s Choice. You can’t go wrong, no matter what your needs are. I saved a lot of money by not having to pay out a percentage to any attorney. I want to thank the staff at A People’s Choice for the great help they give to everyone in their times of need. Like I was! Thank You.”
R. Leonard
When my father passed away without a will, we needed help handling the transfer of his assets. Since there weren’t significant assets, I didn’t want to spend too much on the legal paperwork. A People’s Choice offered just the right service we needed. In particular, the staff was very responsive to our document filing needs, helping to turn around corrections almost immediately. They helped to ease a tough situation.
Michael C.
“I used A People’s Choice for help with a probate matter. My grandfather died Christmas of 2016. He had a living trust but no one was able to find it. We went to A People’s Choice and we were able to do a probate affidavit to get what was left of my grandfather’s estate. Took two days for the documents to be prepared and the bank accepted them without any questions. Sandy was the one who assisted us and we really appreciate the help that was provided. A+ service.”
David R.
“I needed help understanding and filling out legal documents but I didn’t have enough money to pay for an attorney. I searched the internet for a short period of time looking for help and when I found A People’s Choice, I was relieved to know that I would get the exact service that I needed at an affordable price. The staff was very professional and helpful with my legal documents. They worked around my schedule and responded to my emails on a timely manner. They took care of all the paperwork and filing and kept me posted. I would highly recommend A People’s Choice for your legal documents as you will get outstanding service at an affordable price. “
Sharon B.

Contact Us About Your Cheap Probate Options!

  • or call 1-800-747-2780

Important Money Saving Tip!

Take advantage of California’s cheap probate options! For a full probate, probate attorneys charge statutory fees based on the gross value of the estate, starting at 4%, on a tiered scale. For example, attorneys fees for a $1,000,000 estate would be $23,000! By using the flat fee services of an experienced probate legal document assistant, the estate can save thousands of dollars.

Click here to see how much you can save!

Cheap Probate Options in California

Hiring an attorney to probate your loved one’s estate in California can be very costly.  Probate attorney fees are based on a statutory percentage of the gross value of the decedent’s estate gross value which does not include deducted debts (mortgage or business/personal loans). For example, if the gross value of an estate is $250,000, the attorney can expect to receive a minimum of $8,000 in attorney fees. An attorney can also receive additional fees for “extraordinary services” such as when real property sells during the probate process. Essentially, what you can pay an attorney sometimes has no direct relationship to the amount of work the attorney puts into probating the estate.

Some of the most popular cheap probate options that may be available for your estate include the following:

1. Hire an Experienced Legal Document Preparer

Easily, the most stress-free cheap probate option in California is to hire an experienced legal document preparer.

Since not all non-attorney probate services are the same, it’s important to make sure you hire one with our years of probate experience.

Probate is such a specialized field that attorneys unfamiliar with probate often hire our company to help them with the paperwork and process for their clients. In this regard, although legal document preparers are trained on how to complete judicial and local court forms, not all legal document assistants are competent and well-versed with the probate forms and process.

Having been in business since 1980, A People’s Choice has prepared thousands of California probates and, as a result, our staff is very experienced with these matters. We can complete the forms you need to file with the court and help you manage the probate process. Also, our services extend beyond just form preparation. We will keep you on track with every step along the way and be there to help in any way we can. Our legal document preparation services cost substantially less than what an attorney would charge which means you will see a substantial cost savings with our service in comparison to working with an attorney and paying statutory fees.

2. Simplified Probate Procedures in California

There are also cheap probate options for smaller estates. These cheap probate options will only work, however, if the gross value of the estate is under $150,000. California has several simplified probate procedures that allow the estate’s executor to settle a decedent’s estate without having to go through the traditional probate process. Some of these cheap probate options are for estates without real property, and other options are for small estates with real property. For example, beneficiaries can submit a simple affidavit for personal property to handle the distribution of bank accounts, small stock accounts, and other small valued assets. One of the best cheap probate options for real property under $50,000 is using a small estate court affidavit. Lastly, for estates with real property under $150,000, there is a cheap probate option that requires one simple hearing to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries.

3. Spousal Property Petition

In addition to this simplified probate procedure, there are cheap probate options specifically set up to settle the spousal interest of a deceased spouse through a spousal property petition. A spouse can typically complete a spousal proceeding within a few months. A probate referee is not required and there is no maximum or minimum value of the estate to use this process.

4. File a Heggstad Petition

A Heggstad petition is commonly used when a decedent had a trust but, for whatever reason, failed to title high-value real estate or other assets in the name of the Trust. Filing a Heggstad petition allows a successor trustee to ask the court for permission to transfer the decedent’s assets into a trust after the decedent’s death. Transferring the decedent’s assets into his pre-existing trust will allow the successor trustee to distribute the asset as part of the trust and, as a result, avoid probate.

Contact A People’s Choice to learn more about the cheap probate options open to you in California. A People’s Choice has been in business since 1980, and our staff are experienced, professional and well-versed with the California probate procedures. Call us today at 800-747-2780. Please also visit our exciting new website ProbatebyME.com which is dedicated to probate and estate administration matters in California.

Get help with your 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 |2018-07-10T06:54:48+00:00May 19th, 2018|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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