Do you need help to file probate in San Mateo County? Contact A People’s Choice to use our affordable legal document preparation services. Despite common beliefs, you don’t need an attorney to probate your loved one’s estate. Probate is a straightforward process, often involving little to no litigation. Read on to learn how to file probate in San Mateo County and discover other cost-saving probate tips!

Did you know that attorneys charge a statutory fee to file probate in San Mateo county? Unfortunately, this fee has no direct correlation to the amount of work an attorney may perform in probating the estate. The attorney’s fee is based on the gross value of the estate. In other words, the attorney will receive a percentage of the gross estate value as his fee. For example, an attorney that probates an estate worth $1 million versus $800,000 will receive a greater fee even if less work is performed. An average estate in California with one piece of real property is usually valued between $250,000 and $500,000. The statutory attorneys fees would be $8,000 for the estate valued at $250,000 and $13,000 for the estate valued at $500,000! We recommend you speak with a legal document preparer before hiring an attorney to probate your loved one’s estate.

“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

Get help to File Probate in San Mateo County!

  • or call 1-800-747-2780

Important Money Saving Tip!

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 $300,000 would be $9000! 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!

How to File Probate in San Mateo County

The following forms are required to file a probate petition in San Mateo County:

  • Petition for Probate
  • Notice of Petition to Administer Estate
  • Notice of Lodgment of Will
  • Duties & Liabilities of Personal Representative
  • Confidential Statement of Birthdate & Driver’s Licenses Number
  • Request for Appointment of California Probate Referee
  • Bond (if applicable)
  • Letters

Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to start the probate process in San Mateo County. Probate can be difficult to navigate without professional help. Most of our clients are pleasantly surprised at how easy we make this 7-12 month legal procedure and are often astonished at the savings they receive!

Where to File Probate in San Mateo County

To start the probate process in San Mateo County, file a petition for probate at the following location:

Hall of Justice
400 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063

The Clerk’s office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM.

San Mateo County Adjudicated Legal Newspapers

San Mateo has a number of approved newspapers that are authorized to complete the required probate publication. Keep in mind that the publication process may be affected by other statutory requirements. For example, you may need to publish in a certain newspaper based on where the decedent resided.

Navigating the San Mateo Probate Court

Although certainly not an all-inclusive list, the following points out details to be aware when you need to file probate in San Mateo County.

  • San County requires use of the standard probate Judicial Council forms for probate proceedings.
  • Th payment of an additional $50 fee may be required when  lodging the original will with the court.
  • New probate cases are typically set for a hearing 4 to 5 weeks after date the probate Petition is filed.
  • The probate court clerk can be contacted at (650) 261-5100 Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • All probate filings are processed at the Southern Branch of the San Mateo Superior Court, Hall of Justice and Records.
  • Online case inquiry is available for all San Mateo County probate matters.
  • Petitioners may have the option to appear by phone at probate hearings through CourtCall with special request.

San Mateo Court Local Rules

Review the San Mateo County Probate Court Local Rules before you file probate in San Mateo County. This will give you a general overview of how the probate process works. You must comply with the local court rules to have your petition approved. Contact us if you have any questions about the local court rules.

Probate Examiner’s Notes for San Mateo Probate Cases

The San Mateo County probate examiner will review the initial petition before submitting it to the judge. The examiner will let you know if any revisions need to be made to the forms. Very often the petitions we prepare are accepted by the probate examiner without additional revisions and the probate is noted as “pre-approved”.

Tentative rulings on probate matters can be accessed through the San Mateo Superior Court website. These tentative rulings can be viewed on the court’s website for 5 calendar days and are displayed by the day of the week of the schedule hearing.

San Mateo County Probate Referees

All probate estates must be appraised. The court will appoint a probate referee to appraise all non-monetary assets of the estate. Once the assets are appraised, the probate representative must identify which assets can be liquidated to pay off outstanding estate debts. The probate representative must contact all interested parties (creditors) and provide them the opportunity to file a claim for any outstanding debts owed against the estate. The following are approved probate referees for San Mateo County.

William T. Dunlap III, 1001 Bayhill Drive, Suite 200, San Bruno, CA  94066; Phone: (650) 888-9367; e-mail:
William R. Gray, P.O. Box 1151, Daly City, CA  94017-1151; Phone: (415) 333-4080; e-mail:

Closing the Probate Estate

Once the estate’s debts are paid, any remaining assets can be distributed to beneficiaries and heirs. Beneficiaries will receive specific gifts identified in the will. Heirs will receive assets that were not identified in the will according to California’s intestate succession laws.

In conclusion, if you need help to file probate in San Mateo County, you may want to investigate cost-savings, non-attorney options such as A People’s Choice. First and foremost, you will save thousands of dollars using our San Mateo County probate services. More importantly, using our probate document preparation service will allow you to complete this complex probate process without the stress of doing it on your own. Call today for free information at 800-747-2780.

Get help with your Legal documents today!

A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your legal documents instead of an expensive attorney!


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