• file probae in fresno county

How to File Probate in Fresno County

If you need to file probate in Fresno County, you should consider hiring the services of an experienced probate legal document service. It is not extremely complicated to file probate in Fresno County, however it is a long process with many steps extending over 7 to 12 months. With that in mind, probate is a relatively straightforward process that can easily be accomplished without hiring an attorney. People who choose to file probate in Fresno County using the services of A People’s Choice have saved thousands of dollars in attorney fees. This is in large part due to the statutory fees attorneys are allowed to to probate an estate.

Unfortunately, the amount of work an attorney performs for his/her client is irrelevant to the statutory fees he/she receives. In probate attorney fees  are based on the gross value of an estate. For example, an attorney will earn a higher fee for probating an estate worth $1.2 million in comparison to $600,000. The higher fee is earned even though there may be no additional work required for the higher valued estate. Use our convenient probate calculator to determine how much you will save using our probate services as compared to hiring an attorney.

“A People’s Choice walked me through the entire probate process. They are so professional and helpful. Thank you A People’s Choice for your staff’s guidance and patience to talk me through such a difficult time. You made the process very smooth for me. I am so glad that I found you.” Sandie K.
“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!” Lyn G.

We Help File Probate in Fresno County!

  • or call 1-800-747-2780

As an alternative to paying costly attorney fees, hire a highly trained legal document assistant to help you probate an estate in Fresno County. At A People’s Choice, we have helped many people file for probate in California. We can help you draft and file all the required paperwork related to your probate proceeding. We also offer case management services which make sure your probate case stays on track and is  completed in a timely manner. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you.

Where to File Probate in Fresno County

Fresno County probate matters are heard at the following location:

1130 O Street
Third Floor
Fresno, CA 93724

Telephone: (559) 457-1888
Court Hours:
Courthouse: 8 AM – 5 PM
Clerk’s Office: Monday-Thursday: 8AM – 3PM, Friday: 8AM-12PM Noon

Depending on the nature of the estate, a probate can usually be completed within  7-12 months. In addition, certain estates do not need an extensive probate. For example, small estates under $150,000, can be administered using less expensive, easier proceedings.

When you file a probate petition, it is important to work with a legal document assistant that is aware of the following:

  • The proper court division to file documents and hear matters
  • Local court probate rules
  • Applicable local court forms
  • Probate referees
  • How to access the court docket

Most estates are probated based on the terms of a will. Before filing a probate petition, make sure the decedent lived in Fresno County or owned property in Fresno County.

Important Links for Probate Cases in Fresno County

Once you file probate in Fresno County, you can use the court’s online docket to keep track with what is going on in the case. You can search a case by name or case number. The court docket will show all the documents and activity in the probate case.

Local Rules Affecting Fresno County Probate Cases

Every court has local rules that control how certain types of cases are administered through the court. When you file probate in Fresno County, you should read Chapter 7 of the local rules. This chapter deals with rules that pertain to probate proceedings filed in Fresno County. Failure to comply with the local rules may result in the probate case being delayed or dismissed.

The Probate Examiner

All new probate cases filed in Fresno County are assigned a probate examiner. The job of the probate examiner is to review the documents filed in the case and make note of any questions or concerns they feel should be brought to the Judge’s attention.  It is quite common for a new probate petition to have probate note “deficiencies” which need to be addressed in supplemental paperwork. The probate examiner notes can be viewed online. Probate notes are typically posted 4 court days before the hearing and are updated and posted once daily. Probate notes are only available for viewing on the court’s website through the day of the hearing.

When you file probate in Fresno County, the court requires that all supplemental documents addressing  deficiencies be filed at least twenty-four hours before the scheduled hearing date to be considered by the Court. 

If a party has questions about the probate examiner notes, the probate examiner may be contacted directly by e-mail or fax. Look for the probate examiner’s initials in the section entitled “reviewed by” in the probate examiner notes. This is the examiner that should be contacted. Examiners can be reached as follows:

SKC: probateexam1@fresno.courts.ca.gov;  or fax to (559) 457-1766
SEF: probateexam2@fresno.courts.ca.gov or fax to (559) 457-1772
LEG: probateexam3@fresno.courts.ca.gov or fax to (559) 457-1765
KT:  probateexam4@fresno.courts.ca.gov or fax to (559) 457-1762
LV:  probateexam5@fresno.courts.ca.gov or fax to (559) 457-1764

Probate Referee for Fresno County

There are currently two probate referees that service probate cases in Fresno County. The job of the probate referee is to value all non-cash assets. The personal representative will have to complete an Inventory and Appraisal of the decedent’s assets. The probate referee will value the non-cash assets and will charge a statutory fee for their services. Once completed, the Inventory and Appraisal is filed with the court.

Closing your Probate Case

During the probate process, the representative will have to notify creditors and beneficiaries (all interested parties) of the probate. Creditors have a right to be paid the balance due for any outstanding debts. Once all debtors and taxes are paid, the representative can petition to distribute all remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

Closing probate requires the filing of a complex Petition for Final Distribution and other forms. The Petition for Final Distribution is a lengthy pleading that is not a “fill-in-the-blank form.” It reviews all activities that took place since the filing of the original Petition for Probate. Specifically, this document provides the court with detailed information about why the case should be closed and the assets distributed to the heirs and beneficiaries.

If you need to file probate in Fresno County, we encourage you to contact A People’s Choice for more information on how we can help. You will be surprised how inexpensive our fees are for the services we offer.  Our experienced staff  are available to speak with you over the phone 7 days a week from 8:30 to 8:30 pm. Give us a call today at 800-747-2780.

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By |2018-01-18T15:46:13+00:00June 11th, 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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