• how to file probate in contra costa county

How to File a California Probate in Contra Costa County Without a Probate Lawyer

Would you like help to file probate in Contra Costa County? Contact A People’s Choice for an affordable legal document preparation solution. You may not know this, but you do not need to hire an attorney to probate an estate in Contra Costa County. At A People’s Choice, you can work with an experienced legal document preparer who has the experience to successfully help you complete the probate process without an attorney.

A People’s Choice offers a low flat fee probate service to Contra Costa residents. We are familiar with the necessary procdures to complete and file probate in Contra Costa County. During our 35+ years in business, we have helped many California residents file probate in Contra Costa County. Read on to learn more.

Why do we encourage you to work with a legal document preparer? Because probate attorney fees are outrageous and do not correlate to the amount of work performed in the majority of cases. In California, probate attorney fees are based on state statute. This set fee schedule is structured around the total gross value of an estate. This means that the higher the gross value of an estate, the greater attorney fees the estate will have to pay. There is no deduction for estate debt when calculating probate attorneys fees.

“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!”Alexi V.
“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 one of their staff on the phone I had the confidence to give them my business. Their staff handled my probate case with great professionalism and knowledge. My case turned out to be more complicated than originally believed yet they 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..” Ken L.

Get help to File Probate in Contra Costa County!

  • or call 1-800-747-2780

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 $300,000 would be $9000! 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!

How to File Probate in Contra Costa County

The probate matter should be filed in the last county the decedent resided. The court will appoint a probate representative once the petition is filed. The representative must complete an inventory and appraisal of the probated estate. Once the probate referee approves the inventory and appraisal of the estate, the court will approve the sale of assets to pay outstanding estate debts and taxes. Any remaining assets can then be distributed to beneficiaries and heirs. The entire process takes, at minimum, seven months, and in some cases, over a year or more.

Contra Costa Probate Division

The Superior Court of Contra Costa County hears matters concerning wills, trusts, and estates. Probate involves the court supervised process of appraising the decedent’s estate to pay any remaining debts and distribute assets to beneficiaries and heirs.

Probate matters are heard at the following location in Contra Costa County:

Wakefield Taylor Courthouse
725 Court Street
Martinez, CA 94553
Civil (Room 103)

Court hours are from 8:00 – 3:00 PM excluding court holidays. A People’s Choice can help prepare and file the paperwork you need with the local court.

Contra Costa County has convenient online access to the case docket and probate case summaries which can be accessed through their website.

Local Probate Court Rules

Before you probate your loved one’s estate in Contra Costa County, review the court’s local probate rules. Each California county has different rules in filing probate matters. The probate process is outlined in the local rules. The rules govern how probate documents are filed with the court and how proceedings are to be heard. Review the local rules on providing legal notice to interested parties by publication before filing for probate.

Contra Costa County Probate Calendar Notes

Probate attorneys review all probate petitions and orders to make sure they are complete and comply with the legal requirements before the judge hears the case. After review, they publish what is known as “probate calendar notes”. These notes provide a general overview of the case for the judge and point out legal deficiencies or discrepancies in the paperwork. The probate calendar notes for Contra Costa probates are usually available ten days before the scheduled hearing on the court’s public access site.

When responding to probate notes, the Petitioner must prepare a pleading that complies with Rules of Court 4.01. Deficiencies can be cleared by amending or supplementing the petition. In order to be considered by the court, all supplemental pleadings must be filed five days prior before the hearing date.

Adjudicated Legal Newspapers for Contra Costa County

All probate cases must have a notice published in a newspaper where the decedent lived or owned real property. In this regard, there are several newspapers available in Contra Costa County for publication of the required notice. They are:

Ledger Dispatch, 1700 Cavallo Road Antioch, CA 94509-2299 with a publication area for Antioch, Brentwood, Bay Point, Byron, Discovery Bay, Oakley, Knightsen, Pittsburg

Brentwood News, 1700 Cavallo Road Antioch, CA 94509-2299 with a publication area for Brentwood, Byron, Bethel Island, Oakley, Knightsen

Brentwood Press, 248 Oak Street Brentwood, CA 94513 with a publication area for Brentwood, Byron, Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Oakley, Knightsen

Contra Costa Times,  PO Box 4718 Attn: Legal Dept. Walnut Creek, CA 94598 2640 Shadelands Drive Walnut Creek, CA 94598 with a publication area for East / Central Contra Costa County

Contra Costa News Register, 617 Main Street Martinez, CA 94553 with a publication area for all of Contra Costa County

El Cerrito Journal, 1050 Marina Way South Richmond, CA 94804 with a publication area for El Cerrito

Oakley Press, 3805 Main Street, Suite C Oakley, CA 94561 with a publication area for Bethel Island, Oakley, Knightsen

Martinez News Gazette, 802 Alhambra Martinez, CA 94553 with a publication area for Pacheco, Pleasant Hill, Martinez

San Ramon Valley Times, PO Box 68, 524 Hartz Avenue Danville, CA 94526with a publication area for Danville, Alamo, San Ramon, Diablo, Blackhawk

Rossmoor News, P.O. Box 2190 1006 Stanley Dollar Drive Walnut Creek, CA 94595 with a publication area for Walnut Creek

West County Times, 1050 Marina Way South Richmond, CA 94804 with a publication area of Pinole, Rodeo, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Crockett, Richmond

Keep in mind that there are specific requirements that may determine which newspaper is proper to complete this process.

Probate Referees for Contra Costa County

The probate referee assigned by the probate court plays an important role in the California probate process. Contra Costa has several probate referees, one of which will be assigned to your probate case. They are:

David J. Elefant
1350 Treat Boulevard, Suite 410
Walnut Creek, CA  94597
Phone: (925) 943-1991
FAX: (925) 943-6250
e-Mail: djelefant@elefantlaw.com
K. Franza Giffen
P.O. Box 70730
Point Richmond, CA  94807
Phone: (510) 215-7083
FAX: (510) 215-7070
e-mail: franza@giffenfs.co
Michael G. Herwood
35 Underhill Road
Orinda, CA  94563
Phone: (925) 254-4093
FAX: (925) 254-7155
e-mail: herwood@herwood.com
Nick G. Tarlson
P.O. Box 70730
Point Richmond, CA  94807
Phone: (510) 215-7083
FAX: (510) 215-7070
e-Mail: nick@tarlson.com
Theresa D. Taylor
P.O. Box 70730
Point Richmond, CA  94807
Phone: (510) 215-7083
FAX: (510) 215-7070
e-mail: ttcarroll1@sbcglobal.net

You Don’t Need an Attorney to File Probate in Contra Costa County

A People’s Choice has been helping people get through the California probate process for over 35 years! Although the process may seem complicated for the lay person, our experience and streamlined process eliminates the stress and headache for our clients. Contact our office today if you need to file probate in Contra Costa County.  You will save the estate and the beneficiaries thousands of dollars as compared to hiring an expensive probate attorney.

Get help with your Legal documents today!

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By |2018-01-18T15:46:04+00:00October 10th, 2017|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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