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File Probate in San Francisco County

Would you like to file for probate in San Francisco County? To put it another way, did you know you can file probate in San Francisco county without hiring an expensive attorney? It’s true! Under California law, you have the absolute right to represent yourself in legal matters. A key point to remember, representing yourself in probate will save the estate literally thousands of dollars as compared to hiring an attorney. Contact A People’s Choice to learn more about our affordable probate legal document preparation services. With this in mind, below are helpful tips on how to settle an estate and file probate in San Francisco County.

Despite common thinking, you do not need to hire an attorney to probate an estate. Under California laws, attorneys receive outrageous legal fees to probate estates. First and foremost, it is important to understand how attorney fees are determined in California probates. In the first place, the gross value of the estate (as compared to the net) determines the amount of compensation an attorney receives. In other words, the attorneys fees are not based on the amount of work the attorney performs. As an example, an attorney will receive a higher fee for an estate with a house valued at $700,000 as compared to an estate worth $300,000. That is to say, even though the attorney you may hire will put forth no more effort, nor do more work, you will pay more in fees simply because the estate is worth more.

“I am writing to give A People’s Choice my utmost recommendation. I live in New England and found them on the web. A People’s Choice handled my probate case with great professionalism and knowledge. They always responded promptly to my email questions. In the end, their service was exactly what I hoped for; they saved me thousands of dollars and allowed me to do it from across the country. They were truly a pleasure to work with.” Ken L.
“A People’s Choice made a scary Probate pretty much stress free. I would send an email with a question I had thought of over the weekend with the expectation that I would get an answer on Monday. Lo and behold, I often got an answer within minutes! We are very pleased and will be referring our friends/family to A People’s Choice!”Lyn G.
“A People’s Choice walked me through the entire probate process. They are so professional and helpful. Thank you A People’s Choice for your staff’s guidance and patience to talk me through such a difficult time. You made the process very smooth for me. I am so glad that I found you.” Sandie K.

We Help to File Probate in San Francisco County!

  • or call 1-800-747-2780

Important Money Saving Tip!

Keep in mind, probate attorneys charge statutory fees based on the gross value of the estate, starting at 4%, on a tiered scale. For example, attorneys fees for a $800,000 probate filed in San Francisco County would be $19,000! By using the flat fee services of an experienced probate legal document assistant, the estate can save thousands of dollars.

Click here to see how much you can save!

Overview of Probate in San Francisco County

The San Francisco County Probate Court hears cases on probate, conservatorship matters, guardianship of children, mental health treatment, trusts, and dependent adult restraining orders. More specifically, probate involves the legal process of identifying and gathering the decedent’s assets and liquidating them to pay any outstanding taxes and debts. If the assets are greater than the debt, the personal representative can distribute what is left to the beneficiaries.

Keep in mind, estates valued for less than $150,000 may qualify for California’s simplified probate procedures. In the event the estate qualifies, a small estate procedure involves filing a petition with the local probate court. These cases often require a hearing as well. In some instances, however, estate beneficiaries can get their inheritance by submitting a simplified affidavit signed under oath to the probate court.

As an illustration, Samantha passed away from stomach cancer. She designated her best friend Miranda as the beneficiary on her money market account valued at $85,000 held with Bank of the East. Under California small estate procedures, Miranda does not have to file a court probate case. Rather, Miranda only needs to prepare a simplified affidavit which she can sign under oath that claims she is the rightful beneficator of the money market account. It should be pointed out, Samantha had no outstanding debts and all taxes were paid. Miranda can now take the signed Affidavit to the bank to do the bank can release the $85,000.

How to Begin Probate in San Francisco County

Begin the probate process by filing the probate petition with the local court clerk. The petition is filed in the county where the decedent lived. When the clerk receives the probate petition, a case number is assigned and a hearing set.

Before the hearing, the Probate Examiner will prepare case notes to give the judge. In addition, before the judge hears the case, the petitioner must notify all interested parties of probate. Furthermore, once the petitioner is appointed the representative, they must complete an inventory and appraisal of the estate’s assets. To clarify, the probate referee’s job is to value the assets. In addition, the probate referee will finalize the inventory and appraisal.

Next, assets will be liquidated to pay outstanding debts and taxes. Lastly, the representative can then distribute all remaining assets to beneficiaries and heirs. Our probate checklist is a great tool to understand the various steps of filing probate.

Where to File Probate in San Francisco County

Probate involves a court-supervised process. As a result, once you complete your paperwork you need to know where to file probate in San Francisco County. Specifically, you must go to Room 103 to file your court probate forms. The San Francisco County Probate Court is located and hears matters at the following location:

Civic Center Courthouse
400 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

San Francisco County Probate Rules

The San Francisco Uniform Local Rules of Court provide procedures for probate cases filed in San Francisco. Specifically, Rule 14 identifies details about how to file probate documents, how to set and continue hearings and other valuable information about San Francisco probate cases. A personal representative should read the rules to be aware of the peculiarities of the San Francisco court.

Adjudicated Newspapers for San Francisco County

Many legal newspapers can complete the publication process for San Francisco County probate cases. Refer to the most updated list available on the County Clerk’s website. The fees will vary between newspaper, but a personal representative may not always be able to price shop. Specific rules determine which paper is chosen to complete the required publication process. A People’s Choice arranges the publication in all our probate cases and will always make sure to publish in the proper newspaper.

Contacting the San Francisco County Probate Examiner

A probate examiner reviews all documents filed in the probate case before any scheduled hearing. Also, San Francisco County offers online access to tentative rulings and probate notes. In addition, you can call the probate examiner’s office at (415) 551-3650.

San Francisco County Probate Referee

Several different probate referees serve San Francisco County. The probate referee will value the assets of the decedent. First, you must file a local form to ask the court to assign the probate referee. Next, once the referee is appointed, you need to complete an Inventory and Appraisal form which the probate referee will use to provide asset valuations. You can find contact information for the various San Francisco County probate referees below:

Isidoor Bornstein, 3410 Geary Boulevard, Suite 315, San Francisco, CA  94118; Phone: (415) 391-3404; FAX: (415) 391-6526 e-mail: bornlaw@gmail.com

Amy Harrington, 35 Grove Street, Suite 117, San Francisco, CA  94102; Phone: (415) 558-7700; FAX: (415) 558-7701; e-mail: amy@amyharringtonlaw.com

Michael G. Kasolas, 465 California Street, Suite 418. San Francisco, CA  94104; Phone: (415) 992-5806; FAX: (415) 520-5443; e-mail: mike@kasolas.com

Lee, Lawrence C. Lee, 916 Stockton Street. San Francisco, CA  94108; Phone: (415) 397-8005; FAX: (415) 397-2110; e-mail: lawrencelee88@sbcglobal.net

Mahoney III, Frank W. Mahoney III, 317 West Portal Avenue, Unit 27428, San Francisco, CA  94127-1441; Phone: (415) 391-8828; FAX: (415) 831-9108; email: mahoneyfw26@yahoo.com

Karen Ann Simmons, 317 West Portal Avenue, Unit 27428, San Francisco, CA  94127-1441; Phone: (415) 391-8828; FAX: (415) 788-1212; e-mail: kasimons@sbcglobal.net

Warren J. Wong, 317 West Portal Avenue, Unit 27428, San Francisco, CA  94127-1441
Phone: (415) 391-8828; E-FAX: probatereferees88@gmail.com; e-mail: warrenjwong88@gmail.com

Yawitz, Shirley C. Yawitz, 2039 Taraval Street, San Francisco, CA  94116; Phone: (415) 566-5122; FAX: (415) 566-5122; e-mail: s.c.y@sbcglobal.net

San Francisco County Probate Links

The personal representative of a probate case can find probate case information online. Also, if a hearing is scheduled, you can get access to tentative probate Rulings online one to three days before the hearing. You can also call (415) 551-4000 to get tentative rulings over the phone.

So take the next step. Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to file probate in San Francisco County. Using our non-attorney probate services will undoubtedly save the estate thousands of dollars, putting more money into the pockets of the beneficiaries and heirs. Call today at 800-747-2780.

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By |2018-03-12T01:15:18+00:00March 11th, 2018|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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