If you need to file probate in Kings County, this article will answer many questions that pertain to probate cases filed in this court. First, the Kings County Superior Court does not have a separate probate division. As a result, all probate cases are filed through the civil division of the Kings County Superior Court of California which assists court customers in civil law matters, juvenile, landlord/tenant and probate cases.
Probate matters include those court proceedings that address the transfer and distribution of a decedent’s assets to his/her beneficiaries. If the decedent had a will, during probate, the Kings County judge will also decide whether the will is valid. During the probate process, the personal representative is responsible for taking care of the financial responsibilities of a person who has died. The court will appoint a personal representative, (an executor or an administrator) whose duty will be to collect assets, pay the debts and expenses of the deceased, and distribute any remaining assets to beneficiaries. This entire process is supervised under the Kings County Superior Court.
A People’s Choice is a low-cost alternative to hiring a probate attorney to handle your Kings County probate case. We offer flat, low fees for all of our probate services. More importantly, we are familiar with the necessary processes to successfully complete filing probate in Kings County. Read on to learn more about how we can help you file probate in Kings County and save the estate thousands of dollars as compared to using an attorney.
How to File Probate in Kings County
Probate matters are heard at the following facilities in King County:
1640 Kings County Drive
Hanford, CA 93230
It is important to familiarize yourself with the Kings County local rules when filing any type of legal documents in Kings County. These local rules outline special rules and procedures that are required when filing a case in the Kings County Superior Court. Most county court local rules are segregated by type of case. Unfortunately the various local rules applicable to Kings County probates are intermixed with rules for civil, family law and other types of cases. As a result, there is no easy way to view the local rules applicable solely to probate cases filed in Kings County. You must review all the rules and locate those applicable to probate cases.
To access the court docket for Kings County probate cases, you can use their online system which covers cases filed after November 1, 2004.
You do not need to hire an attorney to probate an estate. Attorneys fees in probate cases are set by statute. This means the attorney is entitled to a preestablished fee regardless of the amount of work he/she puts into probating an estate. Use our probate calculator to find out what the statutory attorney fees would be in a particular estate. You will be surprised of the savings when using our services! If you can work with an experienced legal document assistant in probating an estate, you and the heirs will save thousands of dollars in attorney and court related expenses.
Filing a full probate usually takes up to a year to complete. Recognize, however, that sometimes filing a full probate is not always necessary. Depending on the value of an estate, simplified probate procedures can be used to distribute assets. For example, to file a full probate in Kings County, the estate would typically have a value greater than $150,000. Call us at 800-747-2780 and speak to one of our experienced staff who may help you decide which process may be the most cost-effective way to distribute the estate.
The Probate Process in Kings County
There are many steps to filing and completing a California probate case. To start the probate case, the executor or personal representative must petition the Kings County court for probate to be opened. There is a filing fee to begin the probate process. In Kings County, the current probate filing fee is $435.00. Once the probate petition is filed, formal notice is provided to all interested parties, publication of the hearing must be completed, and a hearing will take place. If everything is in order, the court will issue “Letters Testamentary” or “Letters Administration” to officially appoint the executor or personal representative. These “Letters” will allow the executor or personal representative to have authority over the estate’s assets and to act on behalf of the estate.
As part of filing probate in Kings County, the executor will have to complete an inventory and appraisal of the estate’s assets and debts. Next, the probate referee will value the estate’s non-monetary assets and sign a statement attesting to their value. Currently there is only one probate referee who services Kings County:
Timothy J. Simon, Probate Referee
1306 N. Irwin Street
Hanford, CA 93230
Phone: (707) 987-2227
FAX: (707) 987-2329
Once the inventory is completed by the probate referee, the original is filed with the Kings County court. Next, the executor will have to pay all creditors and taxes owed from the estate. When the estate is in a position to be closed, a final petition to distribute the assets of the estate must be filed with the court. The court will issue an order authorizing the representative to distribute all assets on hand to the estate heirs or beneficiaries.
When you file probate in Kings County, be aware that there are inexpensive options. Filing probate in Kings County does not have to be expensive nor overwhelming. The probate process can be easily completed using the experienced services of A People’s Choice. Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to file probate in Kings County. We can help you draft and file all the documents you need to probate your loved one’s estate. We also manage and monitor the entire proceedings until they are completed, keeping you up-to-date of every step along the way. Speak with us before you hire an attorney. We may be able to navigate you through the probate process at a more cost-effective and affordable price. Call 800-747-2780 from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm 7 days a week. We have staff available to speak with you about your particular situation.
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