Are you looking for help filing probate in Los Angeles County? Unfortunately, hiring a Los Angeles probate attorney can be very expensive. Due to California’s statutory attorney fee schedule, probate attorneys in Los Angeles County can charge more than $10,000 in fees for a simple estate! In contrast, A People’s Choice provides probate help for a low, flat fee. Using our service is a great alternative to hiring a probate attorney – plus, it will save you thousands of dollars.
Guidelines and Procedures for Filing Probate in Los Angeles
Filing probate in California without an attorney can be a difficult task. For example, every county has different probate procedures called “local rules”. Therefore, when you file probate in Los Angeles County, you must comply with the Los Angeles Probate Court’s local rules every step of the way.
Believe it or not, the probate section of the local rules for the Los Angeles Court consists of about 30 pages! Luckily, even if you’re filing without a lawyer, you’re not on your own. A People’s Choice is familiar with the Los Angeles County local probate rules, and therefore can assist with completing and filing your paperwork in the appropriate manner.
Los Angeles County Probate Courts
The Los Angeles Superior Court has two courthouses that handle all probate matters: the main Stanley Mosk Courthouse at 111 North Hill Street; and the Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse at 42011 4th Street West. Before filing a Los Angeles probate, you need to decide which court is proper for your case using the online filing court locator.
Los Angeles Probate Court Local Rules
The Los Angeles Probate Court’s local rules outline procedures for filing documents and describe how a case proceeds through the California court system. Although certainly not an all-inclusive list, here are some important rules to know before filing probate in Los Angeles County:
- Los Angeles County Courts require many local forms for probate matters.
- Original wills require an extra $50 filing fee when lodged.
- All probates need a coversheet to assign the probate to a specific court.
- The Los Angeles County Courts have now implemented an optional e-filing site available for self-represented parties to streamline the probate process.
- Any documents filed after the petition require a coversheet.
- You will need to file a separate document asking the court to appoint a probate referee, as they will not do so on their own.
- The Probate Division Subsequent Document Filing Coversheet (PRO 037) is a new document in the Los Angeles probate process that must be attached to all documents filed after the petition.
- You must file a declaration of liabilities of the estate with the probate petition.
- The court typically sets a hearing on the probate petition about five weeks after the petition filing. In comparison, the hearing on petition for final distribution is usually scheduled three or more months after filing the petition for final distribution.
- In certain court departments, parties may appear for their hearing by telephone. However, they must arrange all phone appearances through a special company, CourtCall, which charges a fee for their services.
Probate Examiner’s Notes for Los Angeles Probate Cases
The Los Angeles Probate Court posts probate examiners’ notes about a week prior to all scheduled hearings. Probate notes point out deficiencies in filed paperwork. Plus, the notes may identify additional information the court requires to approve the petition. That said, don’t assume that probate notes will identify every problem. Sometimes, the judge may have other questions or concerns at the hearing.
To view probate notes, simply enter your probate case number on the court’s website. Then, all notes for your case will appear on your computer screen. Likewise, you can also access the probate case information, including a list of all filed documents, through this same system.
Further, you can email the probate examiner with questions about probate notes. However, there is no point contacting the probate examiner unless notes have been posted for review. Therefore, you should check the online system regularly starting at least two weeks before any scheduled hearing. Refer to the court’s website for other rules about emailing the probate examiner.
Delayed Probate Notes
Unfortunately, sometimes notes for Los Angeles probate matters are not available until the morning of the hearing. Consequently, there is usually not enough time to file supplemental pleadings to answer probate examiner questions before appearing before the judge. As a result, routine hearings are often continued in a second meeting.
Low-Cost Help To File Probate in Los Angeles County
Typically, the probate process can take six to eight months to complete. The length of this process often discourages people from trying to file probate without an attorney. Nevertheless, A People’s Choice has helped many people successfully complete probate in Los Angeles County without hiring a lawyer. In fact, we have even on occasion helped attorneys familiarize themselves with Los Angeles probate paperwork!
Consequently, if you need to file probate in Los Angeles County, we encourage you to contact A People’s Choice. Hiring our non-attorney probate document preparation service will allow you to complete the complex process without the stress of doing it on your own. Furthermore, you will save thousands of dollars using our Los Angeles probate services compared to an attorney’s. Not to mention, the beneficiaries will save money as well. Call us today at 800-747-2780 for information about how we can help.