Do you need to file probate in Santa Cruz County? A People’s Choice can help you fill out the forms you need to file for probate in Santa Cruz County. Despite common myths, you do not need to hire an attorney to probate an estate in California. To begin with, hiring a Santa Cruz probate attorney is very expensive. Most, if not all, Santa Cruz attorneys charge probate fees based on the California statutory fee schedule.  Unfortunately, the statutory fees in probate cases are based on the total value of the estate.  This means that the greater value the estate’s assets are, the more the attorney representing the estate can charge for the services. It is not a very fair system, and that is why more and more people are turning to A People’s Choice for low-cost, flat fee probate help.

If you hire a probate attorney, you will most likely pay a set statutory fee. The fee does not equate to how much work the attorney performs. The fee is simply based on a percentage of the gross value of the estate. For example, an attorney will receive a fee of 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of a probated estate. The fee compounds as the estate’s gross value increases.  As long as the probate process is uncontested, you probably do not need an attorney and should be fine with working with a skilled legal document preparer.

What our Clients Say...
“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
“We had a complicated situation trying to change the beneficiaries to an old family property. There were 7 owners, most of whom were born in the 1800s. A People’s Choice persevered along with us and got it done. Lawyers we had contacted wanted $1000’s more than APC charged us and were unsure as to how to even proceed. We are extremely happy with what they achieved for us.”
Lori A.
“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
“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
“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 did a great job on the probate I had to go through for my mom. I really didn’t have to think about most of it. I just signed or filled out the papers they sent through the Portal. I would definitely use A People’s Choice again if the need arises! All their people were professional and friendly. Overall it was a great experience for me at a very difficult time!
L. Wade.
“I would have never thought I could complete a full probate online without an attorney. A Peoples Choice guided me through the process every step of the way. They are a very professional and knowledgeable company far exceeding my expectations. My advice to anyone seeking this kind of service is as long as you are committed to doing your part, with A Peoples Choice guidance you will complete the task. A Peoples Choice Is a 5-star company that I was lucky enough to stumble upon in my searching process.”
Rhonda G.
“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
“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.
“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.
“A People’s Choice is an incredible organization and extremely well-run business. My probate was taking place in California, but I live in Washington state. Probate is extremely expensive, but A People’s Choice is able to lower this expense by a huge amount and provide outstanding service. Probate is very stressful – it has a legal language all its own. A People’s Choice provides all the information you need to understand Probate and lower your stress. They are truly worth much more than their reasonable fees. I am a legal “dummy”. I was treated with respect and given answers to questions about the process. Their staff is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. They get back to you quickly and are very efficient. I would recommend A People’s Choice to anyone that is dealing with Probate. I am so thankful that I found this excellent organization!!
Kathy H.
“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.
“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.
My father-in-law passed away without a will so his estate went into probate and we were intimidated by the paperwork and court process ahead of us. A lawyer was recommended to us, but after sending him everything he asked for he did nothing with it for several weeks and was slow to get back to us. His fees were set to be thousands upon thousands and we were frustrated that progress wasn’t happening. We stumbled upon A People’s Choice and we took a leap, switched, and we’re so glad we did. They were quick to respond and moved as quickly as we did. They saved us SO MUCH money and answered all our questions. We worked together to get everything done smoothly, and we felt like APC treated us with respect and patience. We are so grateful we found them and got everything done with confidence. Thank you APC!”
Suzie H.
“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
“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
“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 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
“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!”
“VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! My experience with A People’s Choice was EXCELLENT!! I retained their services to help me with the probate process after unexpectedly losing my Mom. I received quotes from 2 lawyers locally and they were 3 to 4 times the price. All communications from the staff were punctual and very thoroughly explained. They were there to support me the entire time. Any and all questions I had were explained as needed with very quick responses. There were NO HIDDEN FEES or charges. They have a very easy to use portal to access all of the documents. I can’t say enough good things about the work that they did for me!!! Thank you to all the staff. You are an amazing team and I appreciate everything you did to help my family and I when we needed it most!!”
Hisham A.
“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 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
“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.
“The entire team at A People’s Choice were very supportive in our probate case. Losing a parent is extremely difficult, and so is the subsequent paperwork.  A People’s Choice made it easier and charged a very fair price, saving us thousands in attorney fees. What I liked a lot was the transparency and digital tools used. Documents were managed via email and on a platform. Payment for court items was easy. I appreciate that they use modern methods in an old school industry and most things could be done remotely. All in all, I can definitely recommend A People’s Choice if your case is straightforward. Thank you to Sandy and team for helpful us get here! What a huge relief! I’m glad we had your support along the way. Made it way less stressful and way more manageable.”
Jenn C.
“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
“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 Santa Cruz County!

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Probate attorneys can charge statutory fees based on the gross value of the estate. These fees start at 4%, and increase on a tiered scale. For example, attorneys fees for a $900,000 estate would be $21,000! By using the flat fee services of A People’s Choice, in this example, the estate would have saved $17,100!

Click here to see how much you can save!

Santa Cruz County Probate Process

The estate appointed executor or administrator can probate an estate. It costs $435 to file a probate petition. Make sure you review the Santa Cruz County local probate rules before you begin the process. Upon the filing of the petition, the administrator will be tasked with completing an inventory and appraisal of the decedent’s estate. A probate referee will appraise all non-monetary assets of the estate.

Next, the administrator will be tasked with notifying all interested parties (creditors and beneficiaries). Assets will be liquidated to pay any outstanding debts of the estate (including taxes). All remaining assets will be transferred to beneficiaries.

Probate Division – Santa Cruz County Superior Court

Probate cases filed in Santa Cruz County are held at the following location:

Superior Court of California
County of Santa Cruz
701 Ocean Street, Room 110
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

This is only location of the Santa Cruz Superior Court where probate matters can be filed. If you need to file probate in Santa Cruz County, A People’s Choice can not only prepare your probate documents but also make sure your documents are correctly processed with the the Probate Division of the Santa Cruz Superior Court.

Local Rules to File Probate in Santa Cruz County

Anyone who files probate in Santa Cruz County should familiarize themselves with the Santa Cruz County local rules. The local rules define court requirements for particular types of cases. In this regard, every county has different requirements and procedures. The rules for probates filed in Santa Cruz County can be found in Division 4 of the Santa Cruz County Probate Rules.

Adjudicated Legal Newspapers

Just about every probate filing requires its publication in a local newspaper. When you file probate in Santa Cruz County, the publication must be completed by a adjudicated legal newspaper. Keep in mind, there are other rules that may more specifically restrict which newspaper can handle the publication process. The general list of newspapers for Santa Cruz County can be found here.

Probate Referees Serving Santa Cruz County

Every probate matter filed in Santa Cruz County will be assigned a probate referee. The probate referee’s role is to value the non-cash probate assets. The Probate Referees for Santa Cruz County are:

(a) Lucia Areias, 463 West Meadow Drive, Palo Alto , CA 9 4306 . Telephone: ( 650 )321-9825, Fax: (650)320-8086

(b) Brian A. Nicholson, 9020 Soquel Drive, Suite 101, Aptos, CA 95003. Telephone: (831)684-1045, Fax: (831)684-1062.

Currently, Lucia Areias is assigned as the probate referee for all odd – numbered matters. On the other hand,  Brian Nicholson is assigned to all even – numbered matters.

Policies and Procedures of Santa Cruz Probate Court

Although certainly not an all-inclusive list, the following are details to be aware when you need to file probate in Santa Cruz County.

      • Santa Cruz County uses the standard probate Judicial Council forms for probate proceedings. Currently there are no additional local forms requires.
      • The Santa Cruz court does not appoint attorneys to represent people in probate cases. If you need to file a probate in Santa Cruz county, you have three choices. First, you could hire a probate attorney which is very expensive. Second, you can hire a non-attorney legal document assistant that handles probate matters. They often offer flat fee service at a substantial savings. Third, you can try to prepare the paperwork on your own.
      • Lodging an original will may require an extra payment of $50.00.
      • A  Notice of Hearing on the
      • mandatory Judicial Council form must be submitted at the time of filing of the petition.
      • Online case inquiry is not available for probate filings in Santa Cruz County.
      • Appearing by phone at probate hearings through CourtCall may be an option.

Probate Examiner’s Notes for Santa Cruz Probate Cases

As of this writing, Santa Cruz County does not offers online access for probate matters. They do, however, have a rudimentary online report to check probate examiner notes prior to a scheduled hearing. Cases on the probate calendar are reviewed by the Probate Examiner at least three days prior to the hearing.  Parties can review the Pre-Approval List  on the Santa Cruz County Superior Court ’s website to see if an appearance is necessary.  The Probate Examiner may contact the estate representative or their attorney to review procedural defects, either by telephone or fax. The Probate Examiner can be reached by phone at 831-420-2204.

In conclusion, an uncontested probate can be fairly simple with the right help. If you need help to file probate in Santa Cruz County, we encourage you to contact A People’s Choice. You will definitely save thousands of dollars using our non-attorney Santa Cruz County probate services as compared to using an attorney. More importantly, when you use our probate document preparation service, you will be able to complete a complex probate process without the stress of doing it on your own. Best of all, you will save yourself and the beneficiaries thousands of dollars!

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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