Probate Overview and Steps to File Probate
Filing for probate is not always necessary. If the deceased owned assets as joint tenants or as survivorship community property with another person, such assets can be distributed outside of probate. Assets held solely in trust can be distributed as well.
When probate is necessary, someone must come forward to begin the probate process. The executor designated in the will should start the process. If there is no will, a family member can start the probate process.
A close relative can also ask to be appointed as the “administrator” of the estate. If there is a will, the executor will also submit the original will when they file the petition to probate. As mentioned above, the petition must be filed in the county the deceased resided at the time of death or in the county where the real property is located. If the Petition for probate is approved, the court will issue “Letters Testamentary” or “Letters of Administration” appointing the estate representative and granting him/her power over the estate. The estate representative will need to complete an inventory and appraisal with the court. The inventory and appraisal must account for all the estate’s assets and debts. The probate referee will value the deceased non-monetary assets.
Once this is completed, the executor must notify creditors and pay all outstanding debts. The representative must prepare and file a final personal income tax return for the deceased. All remaining assets will be assigned to the beneficiaries or heirs. Ultimately, the executor will petition the court to have the probate case formally closed. As part of this process, the court will check to see how the executor handled probate matters. If everything appears to be in order, the court will dismiss the executor from his/her duties upon approval.
Inyo County Probate Court Divisions
You will first need to decide which court is appropriate for your particular case. This decision is based on where the decedent resided or where the decedent owned real property. There are two divisions of the Inyo Superior Court where probate matters can be filed, the court in Independence and the court in Bishop.
168 North Edwards
Independence, CA 93526
Phone: (760) 872-3038
301 West Line St.
Bishop, CA 93514
Phone: (760) 872-3038
A People’s Choice can help with the court processing of any probate paperwork we prepare. This includes making sure it is submitted for filing with the proper Probate Division of the Inyo Superior Court. In this regard, we offer several different methods and processing times based on the needs of the client.
Local Rules to File Probate in Inyo County
Every county has their own rules for filing probate. In other words, although there may be similarities, the probate paperwork requirements for Inyo County may be completely different from that of Tulare or another county. For example, some courts, strangely enough, need certain forms to be printed on colored paper. In order to get through an Inyo County probate case without unnecessary delays, it is important to be aware of the local rules that would apply to these types of cases. Inyo County’s local rules for probate can be found in Article VIII of the Inyo County local rules.
Adjudicated Legal Newspapers for Inyo County
When you file probate in Inyo County, the probate court requires notice of the case to be published in a local newspaper. There are rules that may more specifically define which newspaper is right to handle the publication process. Newspapers of general circulation are the only publications in California that can publish “legal notices.” Generally speaking, however, the following newspapers are approved to publish the required probate notice for probate cases filed in Inyo County.
The Sierra Reader
Probate Referees Serving Inyo County
Every probate case filed in Inyo County will be assigned a probate referee. The role of the probate referee is to appraise and value all of the non-cash probate assets. At present, there is just one probate referee that serves both Inyo and Kern county.
Michael C. Burger
4915 Calloway Drive, Suite 101B
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Phone: (661) 588-4381
Tips When Filing Probate in Inyo County
As mentioned above, every county court has their own unique policies and procedures. Although certainly not an all-inclusive list, the following tips will be invaluable when you need to file probate in Inyo County.
Probate Examiner’s Notes for Inyo Probate Cases
Inyo County offers does not offer online access for ongoing cases. As a result, the hearings on the Petition for Probate and the Petition for Final Distribution often require two court appearances.
There are also many resources online that will guide you through the probate process. However, if you want to file probate in Inyo County without hiring an attorney, we urge you contact A People’s Choice. We can help you complete and file the forms you need to probate your loved one’s estate in California. More importantly, you will save thousands of dollars using our non-attorney probate services as compared to using a probat lawyer. Using our non-attorney probate document preparation service will not only enable you to complete the complex probate process without the stress of doing it on your own, but will also save the beneficiaries and the estate thousands of dollars.