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.

What our Clients Say...
“I cannot say enough about the time and money this company saved me. With their help I finished Probate in Tulare Co on my brother estate in little over 12 months. I am a letter carrier with no legal training, yet , I completed the entire process mainly because A People’s Choice walked me thru each step. They filed most papers electronically which resulted in me needing only three court appearances ( and saved me from many trips to Visalia. Keep in mind, all probates are different but if you have limited resources I recommend this company. The Probate Judge complimented me on the good work I received from A People’s Choice, saying this was not always to case with other legal help offices.”
Jack M.
“I used A People’s Choice to prepare and file documents to probate my sister’s estate.  I began the probate process in pro per and hired them after discovering the difficulty in processing the probate by myself.  Very knowledgeable with good technology to keep me informed.  Their fees were significantly less than what I would have had to pay for an attorney, yet their services were excellent. I can’s see where an attorney would have been any better (or as good). Highly recommend this service.”
Ron C.
“Can’t say enough about the level of service and professionalism I received working with A People’s Choice. Emails were always responded to quickly and thoughtfully. They really care about the process and helping you get the best result with no up-selling. Of course, they can’t provide legal advice, but I was referred to an attorney when I needed some questions answered who was very reasonable and easy to get a hold of as well. The process played out according to plan, and I ended up saving a lot of money by going with A People’s Choice over an attorney.”
M. Rice
“I am writing to give A People’s Choice my utmost recommendation. Living in New England, I found them on the web. After speaking with a staff member on the phone I had the confidence to give them my business. A People’s Choice handled my probate case with great professionalism and knowledge. My case turned out to be more complicated than originally believed, and the staff walked me through each step. 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.”
K. Levenson
“A People Choice provided excellent support with the appropriate legal documents and filing process in a spousal property petition after my husband passed. Lawyers wanted to charge me a fortune. However, once I spoke with someone at A People’s Choice, they took on my case and guided me through every step. A People’s Choice has years of experience, which gave me a sense of trust and confidence. I always got immediate feedback from every email request. If you need probate help, I would highly recommend A People’s Choice.”
Sylvia A
“I had a great experience with my California probate case using A People’s Choice! The people that assisted me were so helpful.  I certainly could not have done this probate by myself.  The best part was that I was able to save over $10,000 in lawyer fees!  All my emails were always returned so quickly. Needless to say, I am a very satisfied customer.  I would highly recommend A People’s Choice to all my friends and family!”
Joi C
“When my mother-in-law passed away last year, we didn’t know what to do. We contacted A People’s Choice and from day one they were very helpful. They held our hand every step of the way, and if I had a question any time of the day or night someone got back to me within a few hours. I highly recommend A People’s Choice if you don’t know what to do and don’t want to pay the high price of a lawyer, especially if you don’t have much money.”
Mikki C
“A People’s Choice helped us throughout our entire year-long probate making the process very easy and manageable while at the same time saving us thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees. Not only were they extremely friendly and fast to respond to our questions but they made the process simple enough that we hardly ever had to contact the courthouse directly and we even had a hearing done without an appearance. Would highly recommend A People’s Choice to anyone!”
A. Vuckovich
“I must say that A People’s Choice is a very responsible and effective company. The staff there is very nice and replied to all my questions by email quickly. With their help, I accomplished the probate in 8 months successfully and saved at least $10,000.00 in attorney fees, so I strongly recommend everybody to contract with A People’s Choice and let them help you with your legal documents. You will be very satisfied with their work as I did!!!!”
C. Chiu
“Thanks to A People’s Choice, I was able to get through a probate matter very smoothly. I had not one issue with the Courts. They guided me through the whole probate until the very end. I live up north, but that didn’t matter, A People’s Choice did an excellent job keeping me informed with everything that I needed to do. I saved THOUSANDS of dollars by going with A People’s Choice. You can’t go wrong, no matter what your needs are. I saved a lot of money by not having to pay out a percentage to an attorney. Many thanks to the staff at A People’s Choice for the great help they give to everyone in their times of need like I was! Thank You.”
R. Leonard
“When my father passed away without a will, we needed help handling the transfer of his assets. Since there weren’t significant assets, I didn’t want to spend too much on the legal paperwork. A People’s Choice offered just the right service we needed. In particular, the staff was very responsive to our document filing needs, helping to turn around corrections almost immediately. They helped to ease a tough situation.”
Michael C.
“I used A People’s Choice for help with a probate matter. My grandfather died Christmas of 2016. He had a living trust, but no one was able to find it. We went to A People’s Choice, and we were able to do a probate affidavit to get what was left of my grandfather’s estate. Took two days for the documents to be prepared and the bank accepted them without any questions. Sandy was the one who assisted us, and we really appreciate the help that was provided. A+ service.”
David R.
“A People’s Choice worked on my probate case for over 1 year. Their knowledge, dedication, and commitment to clients are exceptional, preparing the required legal documents, and all the court filings. They used the e-filing system which really expedited the process. They always answered my emails in a very timely manner and were professional. The probate process is long and sometimes seems overwhelming. It’s also very expensive, A People’s Choice saved me thousands of dollars as compared to an attorney. I would highly recommend A People’s Choice for your probate needs. It’s cost effective, and they handle the entire process from beginning to end!”
C.K..
“Probate itself is a frustrating and expensive process. A People’s Choice was professional and courteous throughout a long probate process. Everyone I came in contact with at A People’s Choice was exceptionally helpful, patient, and professional. For those entering into the probate process, I must warn you that it is difficult to understand. The staff at A People’s Choice makes it as tolerable you could wish for.  The people who work there were kind, efficient, and understanding.  If you email your questions, they’ll get back to you and won’t make you feel like you are ignorant if you are unclear about any part of the process.”
Marcel B
“I needed help understanding and filling out legal documents, but I didn’t have enough money to pay for an attorney. After searching the internet, I found A People’s Choice. I was relieved to know that I would get the exact service that I needed at an affordable price. The staff was very professional and helpful with my legal documents. They worked around my schedule and responded to my emails in a timely manner. They took care of all the paperwork and filing and kept me posted. I would highly recommend A People’s Choice for your legal documents as you will get outstanding service at an affordable price.
Sharon B.
“After not having my call returned from a probate lawyer, I looked into doing a Spousal Property Petition myself.  A People’s Choice assisted me through the whole probate process and everything went smoothly.  When I appeared in court, I didn’t have to say a word. The judge just said, “granted.”  Using A People’s Choice I saved thousands of dollars, and I’m so glad that probate attorney didn’t return my call.  I highly recommend A People’s Choice.”
Donna G.
“A People’s Choice walked me through the entire probate process. This company is very professional and helpful and 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 I would get an answer on Monday but lo and behold, I often got an answer within minutes! Thank you to the staff for your guidance and patience to talk me through such a difficult time. You made the process very smooth! Probably saved us about $10,000! We are very pleased and will be referring our friends/family to A People’s Choice!”
L. Garrett.
“I had hoped to have my probate process taken care of by myself to save money. After the fourth attempt to file at the Clerk’s office, I left in tears and faced the reality of hiring an attorney. I look on the internet to find one and came across A People’s Choice. They offered a price that was way below what attorneys charge! They guided me through every step of the process and wrote up all the paperwork so that all I had to do was sign. It was really an amazing experience. They are a pleasure to work with.”
D. Chase.
“Thank you so much for all your help through this California probate process.  By using your company instead of a California probate lawyer, we were able to cut our expenses dramatically.  Thank you for answering my many questions and for giving me a heads up on documents that could be prepared in advance in order to save time and money.  There was always someone available to help! Thank you again.”
Craig 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

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: trebiavg@gmail.com
William R. Gray, P.O. Box 1151, Daly City, CA  94017-1151; Phone: (415) 333-4080; e-mail: williamraygray1@msn.com

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.

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! 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.

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