• file probate in los angeles

File Probate in Los Angeles County

Are you looking for help to file probate in Los Angeles County? First of all, hiring a Los Angeles probate attorney can be very expensive. California’s statutory attorney fee schedule details what probate attorneys are allowed to charge. Consequently, probate attorney fees for an simple estate can easily be more than $10,000. In contrast, A People’s Choice provides probate help for a low, flat fee. As a result, using our service is a great alternative to hiring a probate attorney and will save  you thousands of dollars.

A People’s Choice can help with the challenges of filing probate without an attorney. For example, every county has different probate procedures. These procedures are called “local rules.” Furthermore, the local rules for filing probate are different for every county. Most importantly, when you file probate in Los Angeles County, you must comply with the Los Angeles probate court’s rules and procedures every step of the way.

The probate process takes 6 to 8 months to complete. This, in and of itself, may discourage people from trying to file probate without an attorney. Nevertheless, A People’s Choice has helped many people successfully complete probate in Los Angeles County without the need to hire an attorney. Furthermore, we have occasionally even helped attorneys not familiar with the Los Angeles probate paperwork.

Local Rules to File Probate in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Superior Court has two courthouses that handle all probate matters. First, there is the main courthouse known as the Stanley Mosk Courthouse at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, California 90012. Most probate cases are filed in at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Alternatively, there is the Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse at 42011 4th Street West Lancaster, CA 93534. Before filing a Los Angeles probate, you need to decide which court is proper for your case. Rather than trying to guess, you can find the proper court using the court’s online filing court locator.

The local rules for the Los Angeles Probate Court are an important resource for people filing for probate in Los Angeles County.  The probate section of the local probate rules for the Los Angeles Court consists of about 30 pages.  Anyone filing probate in Los Angeles should review these rules before filing a new probate case.

Recent Changes Regarding Los Angeles Probate Proceedings

The Probate Division Subsequent Document Filing Coversheet (PRO 037) is a new document in the Los Angeles probate process. More importantly, this document must be attached to all documents filed after the Petition. Incidentally, our clients do not need to worry about this new requirement since. Our service includes filing the documents with the Los Angeles Probate Court.

Most noteworthy, the Los Angeles Court is one of the more inefficient courts in California. Processes that take 1 month in another county could take 5 months in the Los Angeles court. Fortunately, however, the Los Angeles court has recently set up a new case management system. This system, which will be expanded over the next 2 year, is expected to improve the court’s efficiency. Furthermore, it is our understanding that, later on, this new system will  allow parties to file probate documents electronically. More importantly, this system should make it much faster to to complete a probate case in Los Angeles County.

Policies and Procedures of Los Angeles Probate Court

As mentioned above, every court has their own set of rules and procedures. Furthermore, these rules outline how documents are filed and how a case proceeds through the California court system. Although certainly not an all-inclusive list, here are some of the things you need to be aware of when you want to file probate in Los Angeles County.

  • There are many local forms that may be required when filing a Los Angeles probate matter.
  • All original wills need an extra $50 filing fee when lodged.
  • All probates need a coversheet to assign the probate to a specific court.
  • All documents filed after the Petition need a coversheet.
  • The court does not automatically appoint a probate referee. As a result, you must file a separate document to ask the court to appoint the probate referee.
  • A declaration of liabilities of the estate must be filed with the Probate Petition.
  • The hearing on the probate petition is usually set about 5 weeks after filing the Petition for Probate. In comparison, the hearing on Petition for Final distribution is usually scheduled 3 or more months after filing the Petition for Final Distribution.
  • In certain Court departments, parties may be able to appear for their hearing by telephone. All phonr appearances, however, must be arranged through a special company, CourtCall, who charges a  fee for setting up everything up with the court.

Probate Examiner’s Notes for Los Angeles Probate Cases

The Los Angeles Probate court posts probate examiner’s notes before all scheduled hearings. After probate is filed in Los Angeles County, probate examiner’s notes for hearings scheduled for the upcoming week can be viewed online. Probate notes point out deficiencies in filed paperwork. Also, probate notes may point out additional information required by the court before the petition can be approved. Don’t assume, however, that probate notes will identify every problem. The judge may also have other questions or concerns at the hearing. To view the probate notes, simply enter the probate case number and the notes for that case will appear on your computer screen. Likewise, you can also access the probate case information, including a list of all documents filed in the case, through this same system.

Unfortunately, when the court functions poorly it cause delays with the court cases it manages. As mentioned above, the probate examiner’s notes identity issues that the court needs clarified. Regrettably, probate notes for Los Angeles probate matters are often not available until the morning of the hearing. Consequently, there is usually not enough time to file supplemental pleadings to answer probate examiner questions prior to the hearing. Since supplemental pleadings can often not be filed before the hearing, it is quite common that routine hearings are continued for a second hearing.

Conveniently, you can email the probate examiner with questions about their probate notes. The format required can be found this Probate Notes Sample Email Message. Keep in mind, however, that there is no point contacting the probate examiner unless notes have been posted for review. With this in mind, you should check the online system regularly starting at least 2 weeks before any scheduled hearing. Refer to the court’s website for other rules about emailing the probate examiner.

Low-Cost Help To File Probate in Los Angeles County

While court inefficiency can certainly be frustrating, even more frustrating is trying to navigate through a complex court system without professional help. For this reason, although you don’t need to hire an attorney to file probate, some professional help is definitely recommended. Navigating through the probate process is possible with the non-attorney, professional help of a legal document assistant. Unfortunately, probate attorneys in Los Angeles don’t want you to know this.

Most estate representatives understand the fiscal responsibilities of their role and the value of a dollar. Consequently  if you need to file probate in Los Angeles County, we encourage you to contact A People’s Choice. Hiring our non-attorney probate document preparation service will allow you to complete the complex  probate process without the stress of doing it on your own. Furthermore, you will save thousands of dollars using our Los Angeles probate services as compared to using an attorney. Most of all, as a result of making a fiscally responsible decision, the beneficiaries will save money as well. Rather than struggling through probate on your own, or spending more money than necessary, call us today at 800-747-2780 for information about how we can help.

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By |2018-01-18T15:46:49+00:00June 15th, 2016|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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