Probate cases fall into one of three categories: probate of wills, trusts and estates, conservatorship, and guardianship. The probate of wills, trusts and estates consists of the process in which a deceased person’s assets are distributed to beneficiaries and debts are paid to creditors. Conservatorships address whether a person is mentally fit to care for himself. A person can be appointed to serve as a conservator to help another person with his/her finances or in making legal decisions. Guardianship refers to the court process in which a judge grants another adult custody of a child or the right to control the child’s property.
Despite common beliefs, you do not have to hire an attorney to handle your probate matter. At A People’s Choice, we have helped many California and out-of state residents navigate through the California probate process without legal oversight by an attorney. Hiring an attorney to file probate in Monterey is costly. This is in large part due to the probate statutory fees attorneys are paid. In California, probate statutory fees are based on the value of an estate. Use our probate calculator to find what the statutory fees would be for your estate. Not only will you learn how expensive it is to hire a probate attorney, our calculator also shows you the cost savings when using our non-attorney probate services. Keep in mind, there is no direct correlation with how much work the attorney performs and the statutory fee he/she is entitled to receive. Fortunately, you can hire an experienced legal document assistant such as A People’s Choice, to help with the preparation of your probate forms.
Tips When You File Probate in Monterey County
Although there are four different courthouses that serve Monterey county, there is only location that hears all probate matters. Probate cases are heard at the Monterey County Court located at 1200 Aguajito Road, Monterey, CA 9394. As part of our probate services, A People’s Choice will help file all the required documents with the Monterey County court throughout the entire probate process.
Local Rules for Probate Cases Filed in Monterey County
Every county court sets up their own set of local rules which govern certain legal proceedings. When you file probate in Monterey County, you will want to familiarize yourself with the local rules for probate proceedings which are outlined in Chapter 4. For example, when you file probate in Monterey county, the case will always be heard on a Wednesday morning at 9:00 am. This is established in the local rules. There are many other local rules that affect probate proceedings.
Another local rule requires that all Orders include the name of the presiding judge, the hearing date and the department. In addition, all pages of the Order, including exhibits, must also include the case name and number in a footer or header.
Having access to probate notes is critical when probating a case. Probate notes bring awareness to discrepancies, deficiencies or questions the court may have about filed paperwork. When you file probate in Monterey County, probate notes can be accessed through the court’s website. In probate cases, often the proceedings can be heard by the probate court without having to formally appear. A party can find out if an appearance is required, by viewing the probate notes on the court’s website. Although a personal appearance is always preferable in probate matters, a party may also be able to appear through Court Call, a third-party service that offers telephonic appearances in some courtrooms.
Prior to the hearing on the Petition for probate, notice of the probate proceedings will have to be formally published. Refer to the list of adjudicated newspapers in Monterey County that can handle the publication process. It is imperative that the correct newspaper do the required publication. A People’s Choice arranges the publication for all probate proceedings we handle.
Monterey County Local Forms
Every court has established local court forms for use in certain types of legal proceedings. You can get access to the local forms for Monterey County through this convenient link. As of writing this article, Monterey County uses the Judicial Council forms for probate and there are no other local forms required. Courts, however, update and revise forms on an annual basis so always check before filing your case.
Approved Probate Referees for Monterey County Probate Cases
There are two approved probate referees that serve the Monterey County area. They are:
P.O. Box 653
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone: (831) 649-6142
FAX: (831) 649-6148
Alert J. Nicora
26385 Carmel Rancho Blvd., Suite 102
Carmel, CA 93923
Phone: (831) 622-2000
FAX: (831) 622-2001
The role of the probate referee is to appraise the assets of the estate. This article goes into more detail about the probate referee’s role when you file probate in California.
How We Can Help you File Probate in Monterey County
At A People’s Choice, we can help you draft the initial probate petition and inventory and appraisal documents. We can also help to notify all interested parties requiring notice for your probate matter. Our full service non-attorney probate services are inexpensive as compared to hiring an attorney. We manage the probate process for you, from beginning to end, preparing all required paperwork and making sure that the necessary steps are not only followed, but properly completed. Contact us for your legal document preparation needs. We are happy to personally discuss the nature of our services with you in detail over the phone. Simply call us at 800-747-2780.