Do you need to file probate in Tulare County? Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to hire an attorney to probate an estate. Most people can work with an experienced legal document preparer to probate an estate. A legal document preparer can help you complete all the required forms to complete your Tulare County probate case. You can consult with an attorney if you need legal advice. Although rarely required, you can also hire an attorney to represent you in a limited matter in the event of an estate dispute.

This article will provide everything you need to represent yourself in a Tulare County probate including a brief probate overview, information about where to file your case, list of legal newspapers for publication, where to find the local rules, who are approved probate referees, and how to access probate notes and the online court system.

Keep in mind that probate attorney fees are ridiculously expensive. This is in large part because attorneys in Tulare County and elsewhere in California are allowed to receive a statutory attorney fee to probate an estate. An attorney is entitled to a set based fee despite the amount of work he/she may perform on a case. In other words, the greater gross value of the estate, the more attorneys fees the estate will pay and the less the beneficiaries will receive. You can save thousands of dollars if you work with a legal document preparer like A People’s Choice. Read on to learn more about how we can help you file probate in Tulare County and save thousands of dollars as compared to using an attorney.

A People’s Choice is a low-cost alternative to hiring a Tulare County probate attorney. We offer low flat fees for all probate services and are familiar with the process required by the court to successfully complete filing probate in Tulare County. A People’s Choice has helped thousands of self-represented individuals successfully complete probate.

What our Clients Say...
“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 Tulare 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 $250,000 would be $8000! 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!

Probate Overview

California probate laws protect the interest of people involved in probate matters such as transferring a deceased individual’s property to his/her beneficiaries, deciding whether a will is valid, and taking care of the financial responsibilities of a person who has died. Probate also includes protecting the rights of minors and mentally incapacitated individuals. The Superior Court of California, County of Tulare probate department handles matters regarding a decedent’s estate, trusts, guardianship of minors, and conservatorships of adults.

An executor or administrator is appointed by the court to inventory the decedent’s assets, pay his/her debtors, and distribute any remaining assets to beneficiaries. The probate court oversees the entire process.

Steps to File Probate in Tulare County

In order to file probate in Tulare County, you will first need to know what type of probate is required. Estates valued under $150,000 may avoid probate. Simplified probate measures may be used to pay outstanding debts and distribute assets. Estates of large values are usually probated. For court proceedings, a petition must be filed with the court clerk of the jurisdiction the decedent last resided. The administrator must provide notice to all interested parties of the underlying probate. The appointed administrator must complete an inventory and appraisal of the estate’s assets and debts.

A probate referee will appraise the estate’s non-monetary assets. The signed appraisal is then filed with the court. The administrator will have to liquidate assets to pay creditors and taxes owed by the estate. Once this occurs, a second petition must be filed requesting that the probate be closed and assets distributed. Upon approval, the court will issue a final order granting the distribution of the estate’s remaining assets to beneficiaries.

Tulare County Probate Court Divisions

There are two divisions of the Tulare Superior Court where probate matters can be filed.

Tulare County Superior Court
221 South Mooney Blvd, Room 201
Visalia, CA 93291
Phone: 559-730-5000

South County Justice Center
300 East Olive
Porterville,  CA 93257
Phone: 559-738-2300

In order to streamline the process and further help our clients, A People’s Choice can facilitate the court processing of any probate paperwork we prepare for filing with the Tulare County Superior Court Probate Clerk. According, we offer several different processing times and methods based on our clients’ needs.

Local Rules to File Probate in Tulare County

Every county has different requirements and procedures when filing probate. In other words, although there may be similarities, the probate paperwork requirements for Tulare County may be completely different from that of San Diego County. For example, some courts will not lodge Letters or the Order for Probate before the probate hearing. On the other hand, some courts require all exhibits to be specially tabbed and marked. Strangely enough, some courts such as Tulare County require certain forms to be printed and submitted on colored paper!

The probate procedures for Tulare County are outlined in the Tulare County “local rules.” Keep in mind that Tulare County’s local rules for probate are completely different from probate rules of other counties. These local rules govern how probate documents are filed and what is required by the court. For this reason, being familiar with the local rules for the Tulare County Probate Division is critical when filing probate in Tulare County. Chapter 10 of the local rules covers the local rules for probate cases.

Tulare County Adjudicated Legal Newspapers

When you file probate in Tulare County, you will be required to publish notice in a local newspaper. Pay attention to the rules that specifically define which newspaper is proper to handle the publication process. Generally speaking, however, the following newspapers are approved to publish the required probate notice for probate cases filed in Tulare County.

The Kaweah Commonwealth
Visalia Times Delta/ Tulare Advance Register
The Foothills Sun Gazette
The Porterville-Recorder News

Probate Referees for Tulare County

Every probate case filed in Tulare County will be assigned a probate referee. The probate referee’s role is to appraise and value all of the non-cash probate assets. At present, there are two probate referees that service Tulare County.

Timothy J. Simon
1306 N. Irwin Street
Hanford, CA 93230
Phone: (559) 836-1057
FAX: (559) 582-9114
e-mail: tsimonprobatereferee@gmail.com

Douglas W. Thompson
2818 So. Atwood Court
Visalia, CA  93277
Phone: (559) 733-1888
FAX: (559) 733-0519
e-mail: judidoug@aol.com

Policies and Procedures of the Tulare Probate Court

Although certainly not an all-inclusive list, the following bullet points identify matters you should be aware of when you need to file probate in Tulare County.

  • Tulare County requires use of the standard probate Judicial Council forms for probate proceedings.
  • All probate filings are processed in either Visalia or Porterville.
  • The court does not appoint attorneys for probate cases filed in Tulare acounty. Consequently, when filing a probate, you would need to hire a probate attorney (very expensive) or a non-attorney legal document assistant that handles probate matters.
  • When lodging the original will with the court, you may be required to pay an extra $50 fee.
  • The Inventory and Appraisal must be printed on pink paper and attachments on white paper.
  • The probate court clerk can be contacted at 559-730-5000 (Visalia Division) or 559-730-5000 (Porterville Division).
  • Online case inquiry is available for all Tulare County probate matters.
  • Tentative rulings on probate matters can be accessed online.
  • Electronic e-filing is available for probate filings.
  • Appearing by phone at probate hearings through CourtCall may be an option.
  • The Tulare county court’s website offers online access to court information, local rules, case docket information.

Probate Notes and Online Access for Tulare Probate Cases

Tulare County offers online access for probate matters through their online case docket system. As with other courts, the Tulare Probate court posts probate examiner’s notes before scheduled hearings. These notes, as well as tentative rulings and minutes of hearings, can be located through the court’s website. When filing probate in Tulare County, probate examiner’s notes are available online for probate hearings that are scheduled for the upcoming week. For the most part, probate examiner notes are available after 3:00 p.m. on the day prior to the hearing date. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to timely file necessary supplemental pleadings to correct deficiencies or address examiner’s questions. Questions about probate examiner’s notes may be made to the probate examiner via email or phone. Probate examiners can be contact at 559-730-5000 ext #1305; the Document Examiner (South County Justice Center ) at 559-782-3700 ext #2342. The Probate Calendar Clerk may be reached at 559-730-5000 Option 4, then Option 6.

In conclusion, if you need help to file probate in Tulare County, contact A People’s Choice. You will save thousands of dollars using our non-attorney Tulare County probate services as compared to using an attorney. More importantly, using our non-attorney probate document preparation service will enable you to complete the complex  probate process without the stress of doing it on your own, and save the beneficiaries thousands of dollars.

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