Do you need to file probate in Alameda County? Fortunately, you do not have to hire an attorney to file probate in Alameda County. Probate attorneys charge outrageous statutory fees even though they may invest little time in probating an estate. Avoid paying expensive legal fees and work with an experienced legal document preparer. Most probate cases are routine and not complex. Often the heirs and beneficiaries are cooperating with each other, and the estate simply requires the probate process to be completed. At A People’s Choice, we provide low-cost probate options to California residents. Check out our online probate calculator to find out how much money you may save by using our services.
Where to File Probate in Alameda County
To start the probate process, file a petition for probate at the following location in Alameda County:
2120 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
The decedent must have lived in Alameda County to probate his/her estate at the Berkeley Courthouse. However, if the decedent lived outside California, probate can be filed in Alameda County if the decedent owned property there.
The Clerk’s office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM. The probate court hears cases on guardianship matters, distribution of estate contents, petitions about trust administration, disputes about wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, and other matters that arise under the probate code.
Alameda County Probate Rules
Before you file probate in Alameda County, we recommend you review Alameda County’s probate rules to begin the process. The local probate rules, particularly Chapter/Title 7, detail how probate matters are administered. Make sure you comply with the local court rules as failure to do so may result in delays in the case or, worst case scenario, its dismissal.
Adjudicated Newspapers for Alameda County
As part of the probate process, the personal representative is required to arrange publication in a legal newspaper that has been determined to be proper. If the decedent resided in a city that publishes a qualified newspaper, that newspaper must be used. This is despite the fact that other newspapers may also be sold or distributed within the city and the decedent never read the particular newspaper.
Possible options for publication may include the San Francisco Daily Journal, Valley Times, Inter-City Express, Daily Californian, Sing Tao, India Post, San Jose Mercury News, Daily Review, Oakland Post, Alameda Times, Oakland Tribune, Asian Week, and the Tri Valley Herald. Contact the Court Clerk to for an updated list of approved newspapers.
Alameda County Probate Examiner
The Alameda County probate examiner will review all your filed probate forms such as the Petition for Probate. After you file probate in Alameda county and the Examiner reviews all of the documents submitted, they will post “notes” regarding the paperwork. These notes will identify deficiencies or questions that the examiner feels should be corrected or clarified prior to the scheduled hearing. Unfortunately effective April 10, 2017 and due to reduced funding to the Court, Probate Examiner’s phone hours have been suspended until further notice. However, the examiner’s notes are typically available by the Court usually the day before the hearing date and can be publicly viewed online or at the courthouse. If no problems with the documents were found, the case may be listed as”pre-approved” or “pre-granted”. In order to qualify for pre-approval, all supporting documents and a proposed order must be submitted and filed with the court at least two days before the hearing. The list for pre-granted, continuances, drops, and tentative rulings for the following day’s hearings can be found here.
Alameda County Probate Referee
The probate referee appraises all non-monetary assets of the estate. At the time of appointment, the court will designate a probate referee to handle the appraisal process. Once all the assets of the estate are appraised, the probate administrator can liquidate property to pay the estate debts. There are several probate referees that service Alameda County:
Ted W. Dang, 1305 Franklin Street, Suite 500, Oakland, CA 94612; Phone: (510) 832-2468; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lonnie S. Dillard, 4200 Park Boulevard, PMB 538, Oakland, CA 94602; Phone: (510) 482-5247; e-mail: email@example.com
Jacqueline Gordon, 5977 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609; Phone: (510) 658-4429; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marian Huntoon, 2625 Alcatraz Avenue, #370, Berkeley, CA 94705, Phone: (510) 541-2461, e-mail: email@example.com
Neal A. Lacativo, P.O. Box 2734, Castro Valley, CA 94546, Phone: (510) 886-5987; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Lockhart, 412 El Cerrito Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611; Phone: (510) 655-2615; e-mail: email@example.com
Robert Sakai, 5977 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609, Phone: (510) 658-4429; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alfred L. Watts, 2211 Harbor Bay Parkway, Alameda, CA 94502, Phone: (510) 865-6746; e-mail: email@example.com
How to Complete Probate in Alameda County
After the Petition for Probate has been filed and interested parties properly noticed, the assets of the estate must be appraised. Interested parties include the creditors, beneficiaries, and heirs. During the probate process, creditors can file claims for debts owed against the estate. As mentioned above, once the estate’s taxes and debts are paid, and no sooner than four months after Letters have been issued, the probate representative can ask the court for permission to distribute any remaining assets to beneficiaries and/or heirs.
Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to file probate in Alameda County. Using our non-attorney probate services will undoubtedly save the estate thousands of dollars, putting more money into the pockets of the beneficiaries and heirs.
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