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
Fresno, CA 93724
Telephone: (559) 457-1888
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 $166,250, 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: email@example.com; or fax to (559) 457-1766
SEF: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (559) 457-1772
LEG: email@example.com or fax to (559) 457-1765
KT: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (559) 457-1762
LV: email@example.com 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.